Toyota plans to sell 7,000 of its new Sienta compact minivans a month in Japan to increase its market share to 43% this business year, The Detroit News said.

The paper said Sienta sales began on Monday, competing with minivans including Honda’s Mobilio and Nissan’s Cube Cubic. The 1.5-litre Senta line is priced from 1.37 million yen ($US12,321) to 1.84 million yen, the report added.

The Detroit News said Toyota, which posted a third straight record annual profit in the year ended March 31, plans to raise its market share in Japan to 43% this year from 42.3% as Japan’s car makers increasingly focus on releasing new minivans and compact cars for consumers who now opt for vehicles that are more fuel- and space-efficient than conventional sedans.

The paper said the Sienta is the most fuel-efficient three-row minivan in Japan, travelling 19 kilometres per litre of petrol, according to Toyota.