Toyota Motor Europe (TME) on Wednesday said it plans to exceed 1.2m unit sales in Europe in 2008, achieving its 2010 sales target two years ahead of schedule.

In a statement, TME said it anticipated that steady growth in western Europe would be accompanied by accelerated growth in Eastern European and Russian markets enabling it to "continue to challenge" its sales targets.

Following the opening of its new St. Petersburg plant in Russia, where the Camry will be manufactured from 2007, Toyota's European sales growth will be supported by a manufacturing network of nine plants with annual production capacity of over 850,000 units.

For 2006, Toyota has set a European target of over 1m units in Toyota brand sales and 48,000 units in Lexus brand sales. Operating at record capacity, Toyota aims to produce 806,000 cars, 860,000 engines and 575,000 transmissions on the continent in 2006.

The announcement of the new European sales target comes as parent Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) in Japan set revised a global consolidated sales target of about 9.8m units for 2008. TMC has seat a global consolidated sales target of 8.85m units for 2006.

In 2005, Toyota enjoyed its ninth consecutive year of record sales in Europe with 964,208 vehicles delivered - up 5% over year on year in a flat total market.

Toyota also produced 638,000 cars, 588,000 engines and almost 337,000 transmissions at its European plants in 2005.