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Toyota sales overtake GM in Q1

Toyota has officially overtaken General Motors to become the world's biggest carmaker in the first quarter of this year.

A spokesperson from the Japanese manufacturer said the company has sold 2.348 million vehicles in Q1 2007, compared with GM’s 2.26 million sales over the same period.

The results mark the first time Toyota has beat GM in global sales on a quarterly basis.

Although Toyota beat GM’s sales figure in Q1, it is still not officially the world’s largest carmaker, a claim based on annual production figures.

In 2006, Toyota's global output surged by 10% to 9.018 million vehicles, while GM produced 9.18 million vehicles worldwide - a gap of approximately 162,000 units.

Toyota has been gaining steadily on GM in recent years, and analysts have been saying it is only a matter of time before it officially eclipses its Detroit-based rival as the world’s largest car marker.

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