With Toyota closing the sales gap every month, General Motors must be feeling a little like Norm Peterson, the portly patron of "Cheers," who once lamented in a sitcom episode: "It's a dog-eat-dog-world, and I'm wearing Milk-Bone underwear."
The numbers tell the story: For the first five months of 2007, GM led Toyota in U.S. sales by 491,717 units. This year, as consumers accelerate their switch from trucks to cars, GM's lead dwindled to just 280,055 units for the same five months.
In May, Toyota's monthly sales were only 11,488 behind GM's. If sales trends of the last three months hold for the rest of the year, Toyota could pass GM in one-month sales for the first time.
Still, 280,000 units is a big deficit, and Toyota likely couldn't catch GM in total sales until next year.