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Toyota to beat GM

2005-12-08 15:24

The Japanese car maker, which is set to announce its new production plan on December 20, has decided to raise its group output to some 8.9 million units from 8.28 units planned for 2005, the Asahi Shimbun said.

As Toyota has been conservative in drafting production plans, actual output is likely to near nine million units, the daily said, without citing sources.

The higher output could mean Toyota will take the crown of top car maker as early as next year, depending on how General Motors recovers in the key North American market, it said.

GM, which has announced plant closures and other restructuring plans for 2006, is likely to keep reducing its output while Toyota expects higher production in Japan, China and the United States.

GM plans to produce 9.08 million vehicles in 2005, down from 9.098 million in 2004.

A Toyota spokesman said the company would have no comment until the official announcement of its 2006 production plan at the customary year-end news conference on December 20.

Toyota manufactured a total of 6.83 million vehicles in the 10 months to October this year, up nine percent from a year earlier.

Toyota and other Japanese car makers have reaped in profits in the United States by pioneering hybrids and other eco-friendly cars.

They have since moved cautiously, fretting that too aggressive expansion in the United States would provoke a political backlash

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