Toyota achieved its ninth consecutive record year of sales in Europe in 2005.

In a statement, the company said that, with 964,208 vehicles delivered – 935,431 Toyota and 28,777 Lexus – European sales rose 5% year on year in a flat market.
Toyota’s market share was up 0.2% to 5.1% – the highest market share ever for the company in Europe.

During 2005, Toyota produced 638,000 cars, 588,000 engines and almost 337,000 transmissions at its plants in the UK, France, Turkey, Poland and the Czech Republic.

For 2006, it has set a target of exceeding a million units in Europe and operating at full capacity to produce 806,000 cars, 860,000 engines and 575,000 transmissions.

“We are growing step-by-step”, said Shinichi Sasaki, president & CEO of Toyota Motor Europe (TME).

As in Japan, Toyota’s top-seller were the UK and Turkish-built Corolla line (207,846 units, +12%); and the Turkish-made Corolla Verso minivan spin-off (91,354 units, +42%). Prius hybrid sales rose 130% to 18,758 units.

The Lexus luxury brand also achieved a new annual sales record in Europe, with 28,777 units sold, 16% higher than last year, thanks to record volumes for the GS (6,144 units, +721%) and RX SUV (14,474 units).

The UK remained Toyota’s largest market in Europe in 2005 with a record 138,534 units sold. Italy was next with a record 130,507 units (+1%), just ahead of Germany which set a new record with 130,275 units sold (+8%).

Russia, where production of the new generation Camry launched in Detroit this week begins near St Petersburg at the end of the year, was Toyota’s fastest growing market with sales of 64,102 units (+40%).