TOKYO: History was written in the first quarter of 2007 when, according to the latest sales figures, Japan's Toyota scorched past decades-long market leader General Motors to become the planet's best-selling carmaker.

During the January-March period Toyota's worldwide sales hit 2.348 million units compared with the Detroit-headquartered company's 2.26m vehicles.

Few believe the situation to be a statistical flash-in-the-pan, as the Japanese giant has been steadily gaining on GM over the past two years.

Data sourced from USA Today; additional content by WARC staff