Toyota Motor Corp said it will set up a new unit in July to boost sales from all 16 of its global financial companies in order to compete better with US car manufacturers which have already diversified into financial services.

The new firm, called Toyota Financial Services Corp would be based in Japan and be capitalised at 117 billion yen ($1.12 billion).

From April 2001 brokerage services will also be offered through Toyota Financial Services Securities which will specialise in credit card business and selling mutual funds.

The brokerage will have initial capital of Y3bn and aim to offer one-stop financial services to holders of Toyota's new credit card.

Tadaaki Jagawa, Toyota's executiv vice president, said on Tuesday: "Our business model will be primarily concerned with operations that relate to the selling of cars. In that sense, we are different from Ford and GM."

Toyota has financial units in 12 countries including Japan, the United States, Britain, Germany and Canada, and aims to expand its financial operations to include about 30 countries.