Even though it has avoided the heavy discount policies that have sustained GM and Ford, Toyota has managed to increase its market share steadily in the US. As a result, the Japanese carmaker is now considering a fifth US plant. This move would help it to pose still more of a challenge to its American rivals.

Toyota, the Japanese carmaker, has announced that it is considering building a fifth production plant in the US, its main market along with Japan. Toyota has a market share of 11% in the world's largest car market, selling approximately 1.9 million vehicles there in 2001. The president of Toyota, Fujio Cho, says a new plant will become a possibility if sales volumes reach two million annually.

 Toyota is currently the world's third-largest carmaker behind General Motors and Ford, who have 14.9% and 12.8% of the US market respectively. The Japanese firm has been making good progress against its larger competitors in their domestic market, managing to continually increase market share without the heavy discounting that has sustained the US firms.

This progress should keep Toyota on course to achieve its target of increasing its market share to 15% globally by 2010 - an ambitious goal. Toyota recognizes the need to continue growth in the US and Japan, whilst focusing on the emerging markets - particularly India and China, which have massive market potential.

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