A NEW KING: Toyota retook the global sales crown from General Motors during the first half of the year. The Japanese automaker sold 4.97 million cars and trucks worldwide from January through June, beating GM's 4.67 million.
THE REASON: GM's sales are growing, but Toyota's are growing faster. The company has recovered from last year's Japanese earthquake, Thailand flooding and an embarrassing series of safety recalls.
THE OUTLOOK: It will be hard for GM to overtake Toyota in the second half as sales slow in Europe and China. But the company says it will see growth. Seventy percent of its U.S. models will be revamped or brand-new by the end of next year.