Toyota Motor expects its Toyota-brand total global output of cars to top seven million in 2005, helped by the expansion of its production overseas. This would outpace second-largest Ford, CBS Marketwatch (CMW) said, citing a Japanese newspaper report.

The Nihon Keizai Shimbun reportedly said Toyota in 2005 likely will produce 3.4 million units, up more than 800,000 from 2003, while manufacturing 3.6 million in Japan, an increase of more than 100,000.

CMW noted that Toyota officials were not available for comment due to a national holiday in Japan on Monday.

The report added that Toyota plans to produce 6.7 million in 2004; therefore achieving the 7 million mark in 2005 would represent a rise of nearly a million cars from 2003.

The figures don’t include those of Toyota’s units, minicar maker Daihatsu Motor and Japan’s biggest truck maker, Hino Motors, the newspaper reportedly said.

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The Nikkei reportedly noted that, next spring, Toyota will start operations of new plants in Tianjin, China, and the Czech Republic, while planning to introduce strategic cars in Europe and Asian countries excluding Japan.

The paper also said the 160 billion yen ($US1.48 billion) plant, which Toyota is building with PSA Peugeot Citroen Group in the Czech Republic, will begin producing a subcompact developed jointly with PSA that will sell for less than 1 million yen ($9,240).

In the past business year ended March 31, Toyota’s group vehicles sales, which includes sales by Daihatsu and Hino, rose to a record 6.719 million while the automaker in March forecast its group sales to grow this year to 7.02 million units, CBS Marketwatch said.