2008 global sales for Toyota numbered just under 9 million, a fall of 4 per cent.
GM, meanwhile, declined by 11 per cent – to 8.35 million.
The result means, for the first time in 77 years, GM is no longer the world’s number 1. A significant milestone indeed for the troubled US automaker.
It is already in receipt of bailout loans from the US Government, and next month has to prove its turnaround plans are viable – or face the risk of bankruptcy.
GM has so far been approved loans of well over $13 billion.
Similarly troubled US automaker Chrysler has separately penned a merger deal with Italy’s Fiat, which will please US finance chiefs. The next few weeks should see GM’s turnaround plans emerge.
For now, the automotive giant will be licking its wounds after being relegated to world number 2.