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Thu, May 04, 2006 - Page 10 News List

Toyota aims to be top carmaker by 2010

AP , TOKYO

Toyota Motor Corp plans to sell about 10.3 million vehicles in 2010 to become the biggest automaker in the world, a report said yesterday.

Under the target, up about three million units from last year's levels, the parent Toyota company aims to double Asian sales and boost North American sales by some 35 percent, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun said.

If the plan is achieved, Toyota would replace US giant General Motors Corp as the world's largest automaker in terms of sales and become the first to sell 10 million vehicles a year, the newspaper said.

The key to achieving the sales goals, especially in the US and Chinese markets, will likely hinge on whether Toyota can increase sales through local production rather than exports from Japan, which runs the risk of drawing local opposition, the Nihon Keizai said.

Including group firms Daihatsu Motor and Hino Motors, Toyota sold 8.1 million cars this year, closing in on the 9.17 million sold by GM, the newspaper said.

Toyota may surpass GM as early as next year in terms of consolidated sales, the newspaper said.

On a parent-only basis, it will likely overtake GM even before 2010 if business grows as planned, it said.

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