Toyota raises sales forecast, may extend lead over GM, VW
News On Japan via BusinessWeek -- Aug 03
Toyota Motor Corp., which outsold General Motors Co. and Volkswagen for two straight quarters, may extend the lead after the Japanese carmaker raised its sales forecast for 2012.
Sales -- including those of its Daihatsu Motor Co. (7262) and Hino Motors Ltd. (7205) units -- may rise 23 percent to a record 9.76 million units in 2012, Toyota said today, raising an earlier target of 9.58 million. It also reported net income jumped to a four-year high last quarter, a day after GM posted a 38 percent profit drop. Wolfsburg, Germany-based VW last week reported operating profit growth slowed.
"Toyota's got a fair lead, and it's going to be a tough act for the others to make up for it in the second half," Ashvin Chotai, London-based managing director at Intelligence Automotive Asia, said by phone today. "This particular year, it looks like Toyota has pulled ahead impressively."
Toyota, plagued by natural disasters in 2011, benefited as the Prius hybrid helped sales almost double in Japan, while demand for the Camry continued to exceed that of any car in the U.S. The company, led by President Akio Toyoda, is now counting on the U.S. demand to help sustain earnings growth as analysts project Japan sales to slow after government subsidies run out later this year.
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(Jiji Press )