Toyota Motor expects a 30% drop in the overall European car market this year.


“Our market forecast for greater Europe is for about 15m instead of about 21m last year, which corresponds to a fall of 30%,” European chief Thierry Dombreval said at a Geneva show event.


“We hope to gain market share with new products that will be launched in January, February and March, and which should help us conquer market share, but without compensating for the 30% drop in the available market,” he told Agence France-Presse (AFP).


Toyota is launching the European version of its redesigned Prius hybrid plus a redesigned Verso mini-MPV in Geneva. It also has a larger engine version of the tiny iQ city car coming soon.


Dombreval also said in Geneva that the company was not planning job cuts in Europe and is still counting on “six figure volume” on the continent in 2009 as well as a 6% market share against 5.3% last year.


The German market had proved to be exceptional in February, he added. Germany, where industry group VDA today said sales were up 22% last month, is offering owners of ageing vehicles incentives to scrap their vehicles if they buy a new car.