Japan’s Toyota has raised its annual sales target to a record 9.76-million units as it fights to reclaim its position as the world’s top automaker. The disastrous events of March 2011 appear to be well behind it as company executives on Friday, August 3, announced financial results and raised its annual sales target, the Detroit News reported. GETTING UPBEAT It reported Toyota’s net profit for the April-June quarter as 290.3-billion yen (R30.15-billion) from 1.1-billion yen (R105-million) on a 60% increase in revenue. Toyota senior managing officer Takahiko Ijichi told Detroit News: "In all regions, vehicle sales increased significantly due to strong recovery of demand, which had suffered last year from the lack of supply caused by the great east Japan earthquake.”Toyota left its profit projections unchanged for the fiscal year that started on April 1 unchanged at 760-billion yen (R77.43-billion).GROWTH FACTORSBut while Toyota raised its unit sales forecast, officials said the automaker could see resistance from a strong yen and weaker sales in western Europe, although Japan’s automakers are generally less reliant on this market for its profits.Toyota has, instead, benefited from sales incentives in Japan, a strong US market recovery and continued sales growth in China, along with solid demand in other developing markets, Detroit News said. If achieved, Toyota’s new sales target would mark a record for the automaker whose vehicle sales peaked at 9.36 million units in 2007 before the global recession hit the automotive industry. Toyota appears well on its way to achieving the new goal: it already outsold General Motors and Volkswagen in the first half of 2012, and recent recalls and quality questions have not tested customer loyalty too severely.