Toyota aims to lift group global sales 3% in 2011 next year on the expectation that rising overseas sales will offset slowing demand in Japan.

The company said it expects to sell 8.61m vehicles across the Toyota, Daihatsu and Hino brands, rising from 8.37m in the current calendar year.

However, the carmaker is braced for an expected 17% fall in Toyota-brand vehicle sales in 2011 in Japan following the ending of government subsidies three months ago which helped boost sales of smaller, greener vehicles such as the Prius hybrid, the country’s top-selling model this year.

Overseas sales are expected to rise 8% to 6.40m.

The group said it will cut overall domestic production by 4% with the Toyota-brand reducing its Japanese production by 5%. Oversea production will increase by 6%.

Like many Japanese carmakers, Toyota is shifting more production and sales overseas, particularly to growing Asian markets, as Japanese consumers avoid car purchases due to the high costs of fuel, maintenance and tax.