Toyota has set a target of selling a minimum of 100,000 cars a year in Mexico within five years, Bloomberg News said.

The company has opened its first six Mexican dealers, will soon add nine more and is considering more than 100 applications from other potential dealers, Toyota de Mexico director Jose Luis Sanchez told Bloomberg in an interview.

The company expects to sell 5,000 units this year but Sanchez said the company was more concerned with consolidating its sales and service network than volume in 2002, Bloomberg News reported.

The news agency said Toyota wanted at least 10% of Mexico's $US18 billion car market by 2007 and would achieve that by slowly rolling out its full line of 18 passenger vehicles and light trucks.

But analysts told Bloomberg that Toyota would have to introduce a subcompact car to beat out GM#;s Chevy and Nissan#;s Tsuru (old model Sentra) brands.

Sanchez told Bloomberg that Toyota has yet to decide whether to build vehicles in Mexico or import them from North American plants.

But he said the company would make 130,000 Tacoma truck beds a year from 2004 at a plant in Baja California state that begins construction next month, Bloomberg added.

Bloomberg said that Toyota launched its four-door Corolla sedan in Mexico last month and will sell the Camry from June for between 240,000 pesos ($US25,400) and 308,000 pesos, including a 30 percent import tariff. Tariffs for cars shipped between the US, Canada and Mexico end in 2004, the news agency noted.

The Mexican Toyotas have higher suspension to cope with unpaved and pot hole-filled Mexican streets and a louder horn to compete with Mexico City traffic, Sanchez told Bloomberg News.