Toyota expects European market share to improve in the second half of the year but doesn’t see demand rising before mid-2010.

Toyota Motor Europe head Tadashi Arashima told reporters in Frankfurt for the motor show that “the second part of the year should be much better than the first part in terms of market share.”

However, he added, “natural demand will maybe not recover until the second half of 2010.”

Arashima said the health of the market next year will depend on whether governments continue to offer ‘cash for clunkers’ programmes.

TME executive vice president Didier Leroy told AFP the company’s share of the European market, including Russia, so far this year was around 4.8 to 4.9%. “A little lower than last year,” he said.

Arashima said Toyota expected to sell 80,000 units in Russia this year, a sharp drop from the 200,000 in 2008.

The UK-built Auris hatchback hybrid would reach the west European market in mid-2010.