GM Falls Behind Toyota In Annual Global Sales

NEW YORK (AP) - For the first time in nearly eight decades, Japan's Toyota topped General Motors in sales last year.

GM says it sold more than 8.3 million cars and trucks around the world in 2008. It fell more than 600,000 vehicles short of the number said sold by Toyota.

GM posted an 11 percent drop in global sales for the year. It blames the decline on the steep drop in vehicle demand in its key North American and European markets.

Toyota's sales fell 4 percent for the year, marking that automaker's first global sales decline in 10 years.

Toyota's move into the top sales spot wasn't a huge surprise. The automaker nearly topped GM in 2007, selling only about 3,000 less vehicles than the U.S. company did that year.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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