US car giant Ford has conceded that it will be overtaken next year in its home market by Japanese rival Toyota, according to the New York Times.
Troubled Ford reported falling sales last month
Ford said in an internal report that it expected to lose its cherished spot as the nation's second-biggest car seller in early 2007, the paper reported.
The company has held on to the position behind bigger rival General Motors since the 1920s.
But Ford has been losing US market share in the face of stiff competition.
Recent high petrol prices and a lack of fuel-efficient cars have added to Ford's problems.
The company reported a 10% fall in US sales in November, while Toyota saw its US sales rise by 16%, boosted by demand for its popular Camry sedan.
Ford, which is struggling to restructure itself in a bid to stem heavy losses, lost its position as the world's second-biggest carmaker to Toyota in 2003.
Toyota meanwhile is growing fast, and analysts widely expect that the Japanese firm will overtake GM to become the world's biggest carmaker as early as 2007.