Toyota Motor Corp., Japan’s leading automaker, is aiming to produce a record-smashing 8.48 million vehicles in 2012. The target, which would be a record high for the auto firm, is based on predicting 20 percent growth from this year’s sales, it said.
Toyota boasts as the world’s top automaker for years until the first half of this year when it slid to the third spot behind General Motors Co. of the US and Volkswagen AG of Germany.
Production of the Japanese automaker was greatly affected by the devastation of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, and the recent massive flooding in Thailand which halted production of Japanese firms. While Toyota showed a steady recovery from the March disaster, the flooding in Thailand stooped the firm a bit, albeit in smaller scale.
Global sales for Toyota this year totaled to 7.9 million vehicles, a drop by 6 percent from last year’s sales.
On the other hand, based on three quarters’ figures, it is anticipated that GM would have sold more than 9 million cars in 2011- up from the 8.39 million vehicles sold around the world last year.
"It won’t be a surprise to me if Toyota reaches a new record in global sales," said Mamoru Katou, auto analyst at Tokai Tokyo Research. He pointed out the remaining popularity of hybrid cars in Japan, the good performance of Camry sedan in the US and increasing demand in emerging markets such as China and India, as factors significant to Toyota’s sales growth.
Toyota said its forecasts do not include group companies such as Daihatsu Motor Co. and Hino Motors so the target could likely be more than 9 million vehicles, had they been included.