Toyota Motor Corp. may have made a late start into China, but a key executive predicts that the automaker soon will be a major player.
Toyota believes China's rapidly growing elite will fuel growth of the Lexus brand. With projected sales of more than 50,000 Lexus vehicles annually after 2010, China would become Lexus' second-largest market, said Yoshi Inaba, Toyota's executive vice president for China operations.
"The market for Lexus will be big in terms of absolute numbers, even though just a small fraction of the population can afford it," Inaba said.
Toyota expects to sell 190,000 units this year in China, a gain of 25 percent.