Ending Ford’s 75-year run as America’s number two automaker, Toyota has climbed another rung on the ladder toward the top of the U.S. market. In part, Toyota can thank Ford for helping hand the title over, as slipping sales at the Blue Oval tipped the balance in favor of the Japanese giant. What this means for the future of Ford, and whether it will be able to reclaim second place behind GM remains to be seen.

Ford’s sales were down 11.8% for 2007, while Toyota’s climbed by 3%, leaving Toyota ahead by 48,226 vehicles in the final tally. Toyota’s surge in sales was powered primarily by new or revamped models such as the Tundra pickup, which sold 57% more units compared to last year. Total sales for both makers were just under 2.6 million vehicles.

Ford’s story isn’t all sad, however, as it’s new Edge crossover sold 130,125 units, more than 30% above expectations - but that wasn’t enough to right the sinking sales ship. What hurt Ford the most was a drop in fleet sales of 18%, although the 10% drop in retail sales certainly didn’t help. GM faced a similar, though smaller drop of 6% in retail sales to 3.87 million vehicles sold.