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Last Updated: Friday, 22 December 2006, 08:36 GMT
Toyota 'to overtake GM in 2007'
Toyota logo and car
Demand is strong for Toyota cars
Japanese car firm Toyota is on course to overtake US rival General Motors as the world's biggest carmaker in 2007, according to the firm's own figures.

Toyota said it expected to raise global car production by 4% to 9.42 million vehicles next year.

GM plans to build 9.181 million vehicles this year. However, analysts do not expect the firm to increase production significantly in 2007.

GM has plans to cut 30,000 jobs and close several factories by 2008.

Toyota, meanwhile, has announced plans to build six more factories around the world by the end of the decade.

The company has been riding on the success of its pioneering eco-friendly cars and strong demand for models such as the Camry sedan.

Toyota overtook smaller US rival Ford to become the world's second-biggest carmaker in 2003.

Within the US, Ford remains the number two producer after GM - but is now reported to be expecting that Toyota will supplant it there, too, in early 2007.

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