I'm not sure if final numbers are in for 2008 on this, but from what I read, VW is said to have gone into third place - surpassing Ford - in August of 2008. The final numbers for Toyota say that in spite of a 4% decline in sales to 8.97 million vehicles, they surpassed GMs 8.35 million worldwide in 2008.
So, I guess the "Big 3" are Toyota, GM and Volkswagen! Did you ever think you would see the day? Before long ... who knows? Toyota, VW and Hyundai??
One addition to this news (in case you hadn't heard) is that in January it was announced that Porsche took over VW after purchasing more than 50% of its shares. It is expecting to gain total control over the group by raising its stake to more than 75% this year. Here's a link to the story: