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For what seemed like years, constant headlines voiced the queries of many an analyst: when will Toyota take the crown from General Motors?

Then along came the first quarter of 2007, and Toyota really did sell more cars than GM. GM, however, has sold about 100,000 more vehicles than Toyota through the first nine months of year. Their growth can be mainly accounted for in Asia Pacific where GM vehicles sold at a rate 16% higher than last year. Toyota’s worldwide sales figures are still 7% higher than they were thru the first 3/4 of 2006.

Despite the attention of automotive publications such as GoodCarBadCar, there’s one comment worth hearing. A GM spokesman named John McDonald spoke thus: “But while it’s a real interesting story to the media, I don’t know a single customer who uses that criteria when making the decision on where to buy a vehicle.”