We’ve already reported on Toyota’s slow march towards global domination of car sales and it looks like 2008 may be the year that the company finally overtakes GM as the world’s top automaker. Toyota has said it plans to produce 9.95 million vehicles worldwide during 2008, up 5 percent from this year and significantly higher than the 9.3 million vehicles General Motors has given as its estimate for production this year.

GM has not given a forecast for the number of vehicles it expects to produce or sell in 2008, but with the company still in recovery mode it’s unlikely the figures will be much higher than this year.

General Motors has also been working to reduce its dependence on the U.S. market and expand into emerging markets such as China and India. It has been more successful in the crucial Chinese market than Toyota and crossed the 1m sales mark for one year in 2007. Toyota’s growth may come at a cost – damage to the carmakers reputation for reliability has been caused by several high profile recalls and engineering defects.