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Toyota Zooms Past GM

The news comes as Detroit continues to struggle.
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Toyota (TM) - Get Toyota Motor Corp. Report zoomed past General Motors (GM) - Get General Motors Company Report in the first quarter to become the world's biggest carmaker by volume.

Toyota said Tuesday that first-quarter sales rose 9% from a year ago to 2.35 million vehicles. That's above GM's first-quarter sales of 2.26 million, up 3%.

The news comes as Toyota expands its operations in the U.S. and elsewhere and its Detroit-based rivals contract amid high labor costs and unpopular models. GM and


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recently put its Chrysler unit up for sale. On Monday, GM said it believed the collapse of the market for home loans to buyers with poor credit histories was weighing on sales this month.