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Last Updated: Monday, 22 October 2007, 05:48 GMT 06:48 UK
GM sales remain ahead of Toyota
Toyota Highlander
Some analysts say GM cannot hold off Toyota indefinitely
General Motors (GM) is continuing to hold onto its position as the world's biggest carmaker, the latest sales figures from Toyota have revealed.

Toyota, the world number two, said it sold 2.34 million vehicles worldwide in the July to September quarter, just below GM's 2.38 million tally.

The Japanese firm's global sales for the first nine months of the year were also just behind those of its US rival.

Toyota's total sales briefly overtook GM in the first quarter of 2007.

Cost cutting

Despite GM regaining the lead, some analysts say it is only a matter of time before Toyota retakes, and cements itself in, the number one spot.

Until the first quarter of this year, GM had been the world's largest carmaker for 76 consecutive years.

Yet GM, which is continuing efforts to reduce its workforce and cut costs, already trails behind Toyota on profitability.

"Toyota is making a dash to the top," said car analyst Yoshihiro Okumura of Chibagin Asset Management.

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