Toyota plans to increase sales by 20% from 2011 to a record 8.48m units in 2012 with emerging markets accounting for 45% of total sales, up from a 33% share four years ago.

The company also said it will increase output by 24% to 8.65m units. Toyota's previous sales record was 8.43m units in 2007.

The company, facing a strong challenge from the Volkswagen Group to be world number one, is also forecasting sales in 2013 will be 8.95m when group sales, which include Daihatsu and Hino, will top the 10m mark.

Toyota said in a statement it expects group sales this year to end at around 7.9m, down 6% from 2010, which would allow either VW or General Motors to take the top spot this year.

The German carmaker has set a target of being the world's largest by 2018.

Global output of Toyota and Lexus this year is projected at 6.97m units. Domestic output is expected to be down 16% to 2.77m units due to March's earthquake and tsunami.

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