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Toyota targets vehicle output of 10.1 million

Kyodo, JIJI, Bloomberg

Toyota Motor Corp. will raise its group global output target for 2013 to around 10.1 million vehicles from the initial 9.94 million as it expects strong sales both at home and abroad, sources said Wednesday.

No automaker in the world has ever produced 10 million vehicles in a single year. Toyota’s target includes output by group firms Daihatsu Motor Co. and Hino Motors Ltd.

The projections illustrate the recovery of a company that has battled through a recall crisis, a strong yen and natural disasters for the past four years.

Toyota will set its parent-only production target at 8.9 million units. It will raise its domestic output production goal by around 200,000 units to more than 3.3 million amid steady sales of hybrid vehicles in Japan, the sources said.

However, Toyota may lower its target for overseas output by some tens of thousands of units from 5.6 million announced last year amid signs of a slowdown in emerging Asian economies.

The automaker will announce the new target Friday together with its April-June quarter earnings results. Toyota’s full-year profit will probably jump 74 percent to a six-year high of ¥1.68 trillion as the weaker yen bolsters the value of Japanese exports, according to analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

For last year, Toyota had a goal of producing 10.05 million units globally, but the actual production volume stood at around 9.9 million, dragged down by weak sales in China amid the territorial row and ensuing boycott of Japanese products.

In the first half of 2013, Toyota produced 5.05 million units globally, down 3.7 percent from a year earlier.

The company will probably keep production above 10 million units in the coming years, said Masatoshi Nishimoto, a Tokyo-based analyst at IHS Automotive. Volkswagen of Germany will probably reach the milestone in a couple of years, he said.

As for sales, Toyota sold 4.91 million units in the global market in January-June, retaining the top spot. But General Motors and Volkswagen pressed hard on Toyota.