Japan's top carmaker Toyota Motor Corporation outsold US rival General Motors
Corporation by about 128,000 units to become the world's biggest automaker by
sales volume in 2006, industry newsmagazine Automotive News said.
sales of 8,808,000 units, Toyota outstripped GM which sold 8,679,860 vehicles,
the Automotive News Data Center of the paper, which publishes a widely quoted
annual ranking of the world's automakers, said
vehicles sales in 2006 were up 3.6 per cent from 2005, but 128,000 behind the
Toyota's sales estimate of 8,808,000. Toyota's global sales gained 8.5 per cent
from a year earlier in the publication's latest rankings.
Chinese micro van played a role in Toyota 's victory," said the magazine
in a report on its web site.
its final tally for 2006, GM included the seven-seat micro van sold under the
Wuling brand in China, which saw sales of 420,140 vehicles. But GM owns less than
50 per cent of the three-way joint venture with China's Shanghai Automotive Industry
Corp. and Liuzhou Wuling Automobile.
Automotive News credits those sales
to Shanghai Automotive, which it said owns a 51 per cent stake in the joint venture.
That leaves GM's global sales just a hair behind Toyota.
In its ranking,
the data centre includes sales of a subsidiary in the total for the parent company
with the majority stake.
Detroit-based GM, which has claimed the top
spot for 76 years, had counted those vehicles, totalling 420,140 units in 2006,
in its own tally, the paper said.
Toyota's own sales figures, which correspond
with Automotive News' tally, include sales at units Daihatsu Motor Co. and Hino
Even by GM's count, global sales in the first quarter of
2007 fell 90,000
vehicles short of its Japanese rival's. Toyota is almost certain to take the lead
for all of 2007 after projecting sales of 9.34 million units against GM's forecast
of 9.2 million.