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Toyota to push for record 2012

2011-12-23 10:13

RENEWED: A reinvigorated Toyota's push for record sales in 2012 will no doubt be helped by its new 86 model.


TOKYO, Japan - Toyota forecasts a 20% jump in 2012 sales to a record 8.48 million vehicles, as it recovers from output losses caused by natural disasters in Japan and Thailand this year.

Toyota, the world's top carmaker since 2008, is set to lose its crown to General Motors after supply-chain disruptions from the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan and October’s flooding in Thailand hit production around the world.

With estimated sales this year of 7.90 million vehicles for the group, which includes units Daihatsu Motor and Hino Motors, Toyota will likely rank third behind General Motors and German group Volkswagen.

Toyota could regain the top spot in 2010 as it builds inventory to meet pent-up demand and adds output capacity in Brazil and China, among other countries. GM and VW have not disclosed 2012 sales plans.


Separately on Thursday, Moody's said it may cut Toyota's ratings because of "the likelihood that the recovery in Toyota's profitability will be more protracted than anticipated due to the company's significant exposure to the strong yen.”

Toyota's plan for 2012 compared with its previous peak of 8.43 million vehicles in 2007.

Lee Hyun-soo, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities in Seoul, said: "I believe the target is achievable given Toyota is quickly recovering production and launching new models.
"There will be cut-throat competition between Toyota, GM and Volkswagen for the top spot in the global market next year (2012)."

VW is also eyeing the top global ranking, with a sales goal of 10 million vehicles in 2018. The group logged 7.51 million deliveries for the first 11 months of this year, after a 15% gain in November, 2011.

VW sales chief Christian Klingler said: "Our target to top an annual eight million units for the first time is within reach."


Toyota president Akio Toyoda has said he was not interested in a race to be the biggest automaker. Measured by stock value, Toyota is way above its rivals, at $111 billion - more than GM and VW combined. At its peak in 2007, Toyota was valued at more than twice that.

Once the envy of the auto industry, Toyota has had a torrid couple of years - from a quality crisis that triggered the recall of more than 10 million vehicles globally and a tarnished image to a subsequent slide in sales.

Toyota has also lagged because of a relatively slow push into emerging markets as it scrambled to meet runaway demand in mature markets, such as North America in the years leading up to the global financial crisis.

Toyota now aims to sell half its cars in emerging markets by 2015, up from around 40 percent. But with growth in developing markets such as China and India slowing and Europe in the middle of a debt crisis, some said Toyota's plans may be optimistic.

Toyota also announced plans to sell 8.95 million Toyota, Lexus and Scion vehicles worldwide in 2013 and build 8.98 million vehicles. It gave no regional breakdown for forecasts outside Japan. It plans to build 3.40 million vehicles and sell 1.53 million vehicles at home in 2012.

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