Toyota Motor Corp. may end General Motors Corp.’s 81-year reign as the world’s largest carmaker as soon as next year.Toyota expects demand for fuel-efficient models in the U.S., Asia and Europe to raise sales at the company and its affiliates by 6 percent to 9.34 million vehicles next year, the carmaker said in a statement in Nagoya, Japan. Production in 2007 will rise 4 percent to 9.42 million vehicles.

Toyota City, Japan-based Toyota passed Ford as the world’s second-largest carmaker in 2003. Through November, Toyota’s U.S. sales have gained 12.5 percent compared with an 8.2 percent drop for General Motors. Worldwide, the Toyota group increased sales 8 percent to 6.61 million vehicles in the first nine months of 2006, versus GM’s 2.5 percent sales decline to 6.89 million units. GM hasn’t given a forecast for next year.

The Japanese carmaker expects net income to rise 13 percent to $13 billion in the year ending March 31.

By contrast, GM Chief Executive Officer Rick Wagoner is trying to halt losses that totaled $10.6 billion last year. GM is also buying out 34,400 union workers to help trim annual costs by $9 billion by the end of this year…

This information was given by the financial news today.

Clearly, the Asian company has gained a lot of ground the last decades. In 1950 the Japanese companies manufactured just 32 thousand vehicles while United states produced slightly more than 8 million that year.

How is it possible that American companies could lose such a huge market share?

The growth of Toyota will increase the impressive U.S. trade deficit.

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