WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Japanese and South Korean automakers registered the biggest market share gains in the U.S. government's "cash for clunkers" program that ended this week with bankruptcy related inventory shortages hurting General Motors Co GM.UL and Chrysler.

Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) Honda Motor Co Ltd (7267.T), Nissan Motor Co Ltd (7201.T), Hyundai Motor Co (005380.KS) capitalized on the program's goal of pushing consumers away from gas guzzling sport utilities and pickups, to more efficient cars and trucks, preliminary sales figures showed on Wednesday.

Overseas manufacturers dominate in car sales, while U.S. companies have been stronger in the light truck segment. Cars outsold trucks 2-1 under the "clunker" initiative.

Ford Motor Co (F.N) was the only domestic manufacturer to hold its own in market share compared with its performance so far this year, while GM slipped and Chrysler stumbled noticeably.

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