DETROIT Toyota Motor Corp. overtook Ford Motor Co. to become the No. 2 automaker by U.S. sales in 2007, using new products and relentless strategy to break Ford s 75-year lock on the position.
Toyota sold 48,226 more cars and trucks than Ford, according to sales figures released Thursday. Toyota s sales were up 3 percent for the year, buoyed by new products like the Toyota Tundra pickup, which saw sales jump 57 percent.
Ford s sales fell 12 percent, ending with a whimper a year that is expected to be the worst for the auto industry since 1998 as consumers fretted over high gas prices and the economy.
Ford corporate historian Bob Kreipke said it was the first time since 1931 that Ford wasn t second behind General Motors Corp.