TOKYO - General Motors, a symbol of American industrial might and the world's top seller of motor vehicles since Herbert Hoover was president, has been all-but-overtaken by a foreign rival.
Toyota said Thursday it sold 9.366 million vehicles last year globally, about 3,000 vehicles fewer than the tally from General Motors Corp., just barely allowing the U.S. automaker to retain its crown as the world's No. 1 automaker.
All year long, the two automakers raced neck-and-neck in global sales, highlighting Toyota's phenomenal growth and the struggles facing GM and other American automakers.
Toyota had said as late as Wednesday that its annual total was 9.37 million vehicles, up 6 percent from 2006. GM said Wednesday in Detroit its global sales had risen 3 percent to 9,369,524 vehicles, making for a race that appeared too close to call.