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Toyota zips past GM to claim China's No. 2 spot in car sales

Energy-efficient models win fans in the world's top auto market

Toyota unveiled the first electric offering in its premium Lexus lineup in China.

GUANGZHOU -- Toyota Motor jumped to second place from fifth in China's January-September passenger car sales, beating rivals like General Motors as its green tech push and aggressive sales efforts bore fruit.

The Japanese automaker claimed 7.8% of the country's new passenger car unit sales during the nine months, up from a fifth-place 6.4% slice a year earlier, according to U.K. research company LMC Automotive. It trailed only Volkswagen, and was followed by GM and China's own SAIC Motor, with Toyota compatriot Honda Motor taking fifth place.

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