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Mon, May 05, 2008 - Page 10 News List

Toyota to raise automobile prices in North America

AFP , TOKYO

Japanese carmaker Toyota Motor Corp will raise sale prices in North America this month in a bid to offset rising production costs and the stronger yen, a report said yesterday.

The Japanese maker has expanded aggressively outside its home market, helped by a reputation for fuel efficient vehicles, including petrol-electric hybrids, which have generated strong interest at a time of soaring oil prices.

But Toyota is widely expected in the current business year to March next year to suffer its first drop in operating profit in nine years because of sluggish US sales and a stronger yen, as well as surging costs of steel and other materials.

From those to be shipped from today, the price of the popular Prius hybrid will likely climb by 1.8 percent and that of the Yaris compact by up to 1.7 percent, the Nikkei Shimbun reported, citing unnamed company sources.

Cars manufactured in North America, including the Camry mid-size sedan, will see their prices rise from later this month, it said.

Toyota is expected this year to surpass General Motors as the world’s top automaker, but is relying increasingly on emerging economies to underpin its rapid expansion, with the US economy losing steam.

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