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Toyota Motor Corp. revised its unconsolidated earnings projections for the first half of fiscal 2000 upward due to brisk sales of its vehicles in domestic and overseas markets, company officials said Friday.

During the April-September period, its pretax profit will increase to 220 billion yen from the previous forecast of 170 billion yen while its sales will also rise to 3.7 trillion yen from 3.6 trillion yen.

Its net profit will increase to 100 billion yen from the earlier forecast of 70 billion yen and its operating profit will also jump to 190 billion yen from 150 billion yen.

In terms of volume during the period, Toyota, Japan’s largest carmaker, will increase its new car sales in the domestic market by 10,000 units from the previous forecast to 840,000 units, and its exports to overseas markets, mainly in North America and in Europe, by 60,000 units to 870,000 units.

However, Tadaaki Jagawa, a vice president of Toyota, said the carmaker did not revise its earning projections upward for fiscal 2000, which ends March 2001, because the appreciation of yen may affect its results during the second half of the business year.

Toyota did not disclose its forecasts for consolidated earnings for fiscal 2000.

On a roll in Europe

BRUSSELS (Kyodo) Toyota Motor Corp. is enjoying robust sales in Europe, with the number of cars sold totaling 41,756 during the January-August period, up 16 percent from a year earlier, company officials said Friday.

Among these, the Yaris compact, the European version of the Vitz, is selling particularly well, they said.

Toyota plans to introduce its hybrid electric vehicle Prius in October and has launched a special mission ahead of its marketing drive.

The mission left Brussels on Friday to visit eight European countries including Britain and France, in a bid to promote Prius’ environmentally beneficial features.

Toyota hopes to sell 5,000 Prius cars in Europe this year.

The Prius is the world’s first mass-produced hybrid electric vehicle.

The car, which was first introduced in Japan in 1997, is powered by both a gasoline engine and an electric motor.

Meanwhile, the Yaris, the first Japanese car with an exterior designed by Europeans, has sold 175,000 units since its launch last spring and August this year, with an additional backlog of 30,000 orders, the company said.

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