TOKYO - Toyota Motor Corp. plans to boost its global sales next year for a third consecutive year by giving the North American and Japanese markets a push.
Toyota wants to raise its overall sales by about 3 percent to 5.33 million units in 2001 from the projected 5.14 million this year.
The healthy estimate is supported by the company's expectations that it will sell 1.82 million vehicles in North America next year, up 3 percent from the 1.77 million forecast this year. This year's projections, up 8 percent from last year, match its domestic sales for the first time.
'I don't think the (U.S.) market will plunge,' Toyota President Fujio Cho said at a media briefing here last week.
Cho said he expects the U.S market to contract to around 16.5 million units next year while Toyota's sales rise 4 percent, to 1.67 million units. That would give it just more than 10 percent of the U.S. market.
Toyota also said it will solidify its position as the No. 1 automaker in Japan by boosting its sales 6 percent to 1.88 million units next year.
In Europe, where most Japanese automakers have lost money because of the weakening euro, Cho said Toyota sales will slip 4 percent to around 620,000 units.
As a way to reduce currency swings, Toyota will start production of its popular Yaris in Valenciennes, France, next month. The company sells 300,000 Yarises annually in Europe, all imported.