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JAPAN: Toyota looks to tighten grip on top spot

By Chris Wright | 31 July 2012

Toyota plans to raise its 2012 global sales target to 8.8m units from 8.58m as sales continue to surge in emerging economies.

Kyodo News reported the company also plans to revise upward its global production target for the year, currently set at 8.65m.

Toyota's sales overtook General Motors in the first half of this year and the company is expected to continue to strengthen its efforts to secure the top ranking in the world for the full year for the first time in two years.

The company appears to have recovered strongly from the supply chain disruptions triggered by the earthquake and tsunami last year in Japan and the massive flooding in Thailand.

Toyota originally planned to sell 8.48m units this year, up from record sales of 8.43m achieved in 2007. This was revised upward by 100,000 units in January due to a boost in sales under the government subsidy programme for eco-friendly vehicles in Japan.

However, the company said that the outlook for the second half remains uncertain, as the eco-friendly car subsidy is expected to run out, possibly as early as next month, and this would cause a decline in domestic sales.

The deterioration in Europe amid the region's sovereign debt crisis could also spill over to North America, China and other emerging economies.