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Friday Dec. 22 - A Landmark Day For Toyota

Friday, 22 Dec 2006 | 8:20 AM ET

Today will be remembered as a landmark day in the automotive world. As CNBC first told you yesterday, Toyota will be taking the top spot in world wide sales next year, ahead of General Motors. CNBC’s Phil LeBeau has been following developments.

LeBeau said, “ Keep in mind technically Toyota is not #1 in the world yet. The company’s forecast for 2007 puts them at 9.4 million vehicles -- that’s ahead of GM. (GM doesn’t release a forecast but most believe they’re going to build about 9.1 million)

Here are Toyota’s Growth Estimates for 2007:

Toyota Growth
Toyota issued projections showing it's poised to become the world's number one automaker next year. Insight with Phil LeBeau, CNBC's Auto Reporter, and Mark Haines.

Globally up 4%

Operating profit up 10%

New North American plant?
(With sales growing at this pace Toyota will likely need another factory)

Michael Robinet of CSM Marketing said, “I think where you’re going to see Toyota proliferate in the future is in the emerging markets and also on the luxury side. They’re going to press hard because they want to go after the baby boomer." (The boomers have been turning to Toyota’s Lexus brand.)

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