Toyota Motor Corp. will produce a company record 6 million vehicles worldwide this year, up 2.2 percent from a projection in December, the company said Tuesday.

The nation’s largest carmaker also expects to sell a record 5.85 million vehicles worldwide in 2003, up 1 percent from an earlier projection.

“Although the world economy was stagnant due to the war in Iraq and SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) earlier this year, it is gradually recovering,” Toyota President Fujio Cho said.

With improving global economic indicators, including increased corporate profitability in Japan and thriving housing demand in the U.S., the business environment for automakers in both nations is becoming brighter, he said.

According to its revised plan, Toyota’s domestic production will total 3.45 million units, up 1.8 percent from the December projection. Overseas production will increase 2.8 percent to 2.55 million units.

Toyota is also bullish on sales projections. Amid Japan’s growing automotive market, Toyota expects to sell about 1.73 million vehicles in 2003, up 0.6 percent from an earlier forecast.

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