Toyota aims for comeback with 8.48m vehicle sales in 2012
TOYOTA is aiming for a comeback, targeting record global sales of 8.48 million vehicles in 2012, and an even bigger number in 2013, after being battered this year by the March disaster in Japan and flooding in Thailand.
Toyota, Japan's top automaker, relinquished its title as the world's biggest in global vehicle sales for the first half of this year, sinking to number three behind US rival General Motors (GM) and Volkswagen of Germany.
Toyota's global vehicle sales for this year totalled 7.9 million, including group companies, down 6pc from the previous year, it said in a statement yesterday.
GM spokesman Jim Cain said it would release its full-year global sales totals in January. The Detroit-based firm had been at the top for more than seven decades until Toyota took the crown in 2008.
After the first three quarters, GM sold 6.788 million vehicles worldwide, according to its filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. If fourth-quarter results are consistent with prior months, it will sell just more than nine million vehicles in 2011. Last year, GM sold 8.39 million vehicles around the world.
Volkswagen also has not released its 2011 tally but said earlier this month it delivered 7.51 million vehicles globally during the January-November period.
Toyota's targets for 2012 and 2013 do not include group companies such as Daihatsu Motor and Hino Motors, and so aren't directly comparable with numbers from GM and Volkswagen.
Toyota said its sales target for calendar 2012 was based on achieving 20pc growth from its global sales this year and would be a record high for the company, underlining its turnaround ambitions.
The automaker's current sales record of 8.43 million vehicles was attained in 2007.
"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. (AP)