Toyota Motor Corporation became the world's second-largest car manufacturer for the first time in the third quarter of this year.

Toyota Motor Corporation became the world's second-largest car manufacturer for the first time in the third quarter of this year.

Ford was bumped off the second spot by Toyota when it sold 166 000 more vehicles than the Blue Oval in the third quarter - and just two months after the Japanese manufacturer passed DaimlerChrysler in terms of sales. According to Reuters, Toyota's total global sales were about 1,57 million units, still lagging behind General Motors' 6,4 million units sold in the same period.

In terms of sales for the year, Ford is still ahead of Toyota, but it is expected that if the Japanese manufacturer maintains its momentum to the end of the year, it may cause an upset for Ford, who has started cutting production.

Toyota is already the most profitable car manufacturer in the world and is regarded by GM as its main global competitor. However, Toyota's healthy profits, efficient manufacturing systems and extensive research and development mean it could challenge GM for the top slot.

Fellow Japanese manufacturer Mitsubishi has had a dreadful quarter and has revised its forecast for the full year to predict losses, as it heads back into the red.

On the other hand, Hyundai saw a 1,7 per cent rise in profit in the third quarter with rising sales of the Santa Fe and Sonata models, according to .