Could 2007 be the year that Toyota finally surpasses GM as the world’s largest car maker, a title it’s held on to for more than 75 years? A report from Japanese newspaper Nihon Keizai Shimbun seems to think so, citing unnamed sources. While GM is busy cutting back on production and staff, Toyota is moving up to produce around 9.45 million vehicles next year, 400,000 more than this year. These figures also include Toyota’s two subsidiaries, Daihatsu Motor Co and Hino Motors Ltd.

Toyota’s growth in recent years has been accelerated by the trend towards smaller, more fuel efficient cars, but the Japanese carmaker is also moving towards the truck business, starting production of the new Tundra pickup for 2007. While most large carmakers are suffering from a lack of sales, Toyota is leading in the profit stakes with a $3.44b profit for Q3 this year.

Does the loss of the “world’s biggest carmaker” title actually mean anything? GM still says it’s the biggest producer of cars in its press releases so we’ve got a feeling at least one thing will be changing by the end of next year.