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December 15, 2016updated 09 Apr 2021 6:57am

Toyota seen topping 10m sales again

Toyota Motor's global sales are expected to top 10m vehicles for a fourth consecutive year in 2016, on par with Volkswagen as the two vie for the top spot, a media report said.

Toyota Motor ‘s global sales are expected to top 10m vehicles for a fourth consecutive year in 2016, on par with Volkswagen as the two vie for the top spot, a media report said.

The Nikkei said Toyota’s total sales for its Toyota and Lexus brands – the main figure watched by component makers and industry players – stayed flat at 9.15m. Actual sales grew 0.2% year on year for the 10 months to the end of October. Toyota was expected to raise its 2017 projection above the unofficial figure of roughly 9.4m that it gave to suppliers in the summer.

It has since said in a statement Toyota and Lexus sales are forecast at 9.26m with total group sales, including Daihatsu and Hino, pegged at just over 10.2m.

Nikkei said total group sales for 2016, including Daihatsu and Hino, are certain to exceed 10m vehicles and expected to beat Toyota’s estimate of 10.11m. Sales volume has fallen off slightly from the record of 10.23m set in 2014 amid sluggish domestic minicar sales and economic slowdowns in emerging markets. But a new record could be on the cards for 2017.

The report noted Volkswagen is expected to move more than 10m vehicles this year as well. While a revamp of its flagship Golf compact should provide a boost in 2017, the German company’s dependence on China leaves it vulnerable to market shifts there. Both automakers are taking lessons from past periods of rapid growth as they try to chart more sustainable paths forward.

In the high-demand category of sport utility vehicles, Toyota will roll out the C-HR in Japan on Wednesday and plans to offer it in such markets as Europe as well. The new model, an addition to the automaker’s previously sparse compact-SUV lineup, will compete with such vehicles as Honda Motor’s Vezel. Toyota aims to build and sell more than 150,000 C-HRs a year.

The Camry midsize sedan, the top-selling car in the US, has had its first full redesign in around six years in a bid to boost sales.

Toyota will take steps to address a shortage of SUVs and pickup trucks, which have grown more popular in the US thanks to falling oil prices, Nikkei said. The automaker will speed up assembly lines at a Texas plant and at subsidiary Toyota Industries as well as boost capacity at Mexican production facilities.

New car sales remain brisk in the US and Europe but are showing signs of bottoming out in southeast Asia, including in Indonesia, where Toyota has a particularly strong presence, the report noted.

In China a small-vehicle tax break, now ending, gave demand a boost. But risks remain in the US where the impact of the incoming Trump administration is proving difficult to predict, and in China, after the tax incentive expiry on 31 December.

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