Toyota has GM in its sights

The Toyota Motor Corporation may not be doing very well in Formula 1 but out in the car markets of the world, the Japanese giant is enjoying huge success and it aims this year to overtake General Motors as the world's biggest car manufacturer. The company has announced plans to build 9.42m vehicles in 2007 and with General Motors having been stuck at 9.1m for the last two years, it will mean that GM will be toppled for the first time since it overtook the Ford Motor Company back in 1931, when Alfred P Sloan's plan for a multi-layer company, selling cars to different levels of buyer, first came to fruition.

GM is struggling to react because of its huge healthcare and pension burden and the fact that buyers are drifting away. Since 1990 GM's share of the US market has dropped from 35% to less than 26%.

Toyota's charge to the top is being supported not only by Formula 1 but also by the company's new assault on NASCAR.

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