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Toyota Motor Corp. said Monday it is aiming for a global market share of about 15 percent by the early part of the decade beginning in 2010.

At the release of its 2010 Global Vision long-term management plan, Japan’s largest automaker said it will work to expand its customer base and the worldwide appeal of automobiles.

Toyota said it will review its approach to global tieups to strengthen the competitiveness of its core engine and platform technologies, and will promote strategic technical alliances, including mergers and acquisitions, if necessary.

It will consider forming a global headquarters as part of efforts to unify its global management structure, it said, adding it will strive to foster a recycling-based society.

New vehicle sales dip

Domestic sales of new motor vehicles, excluding minivehicles, fell to 3.98 million units in the 2001 business year, down 3.4 percent from a year earlier, the Japan Automobile Dealers Association said Monday.

It marked the first year-on-year decline in two years.

Domestic carmakers sold 3.01 million cars in the year to Sunday, up 0.9 percent from 2000.

In the same period, automakers sold 950,708 trucks, down 15 percent, and 16,236 buses, up 5.1 percent from a year earlier, the association said.

For March alone, 531,411 vehicles were sold, marking a year-on-year decline of 8.7 percent. A total of 411,236 cars were sold, down 3 percent; 116,844 trucks, down 24.6 percent; and 3,331 buses, up 4.9 percent, the group said.

Minivehicle downturn

The domestic market saw 1.84 million minivehicles sold during the 2001 business year, down 0.9 percent from a year earlier, the Japan Mini Vehicles Association said Monday.

Nevertheless, the total number of minicars sold during the 2001 business year was the fourth-highest number on record. The association began taking such statistics in fiscal 1967. Minivehicles are classified as having engine displacements under 660cc.

Among the total, car sales reached 1.28 million, units, up 0.8 percent, and commercial vehicles amounted to 563,005 units, down 4.4 percent from a year earlier, the association said.

Meanwhile, the group said 240,575 minivehicles were sold during March, down 3.8 percent from a year earlier, including 173,564 minicars, down 1.4 percent, and 67,011 commercial-type minicars, down 9.5 percent, the group said.

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