Tokyo: Toyota Motor Corp., poised to regain its title as the world’s biggest carmaker this year, said its vehicle sales may rise 2% next year to a record, led by demand from overseas markets.
Global sales, including those of subsidiaries Hino Motors Ltd and Daihatsu Motor Co., may climb to 9.91 million vehicles in 2013, the Japan-based company said on Wednesday in an e-mailed statement. The maker of the Corolla and the Camry sedan estimates sales expanded 22% to a record 9.7 million this year, the biggest gain since at least 2000.
Toyota is counting on the US to boost sales next year, countering a projected 15% drop in Japan, where government subsidies to purchasers of fuel-efficient vehicles expired in September. The automaker’s 2013 forecast surpasses the previous high of 9.37 million units in 2007, before the global financial crisis sapped demand.
“After the subsidies expired in September, car sales in Japan didn’t fall tremendously, so Toyota’s forecast for domestic deliveries to drop 15% next year is bigger than we expected,” Yoshiaki Kawano, a Tokyo-based industry analyst at IHS Automotive said. “The US will continue to lead sales next year, but the growth level at Japanese carmakers will match the industry’s, unlike this year, where they all outperformed the market.”
The maker of the Prius, the world’s best-selling gas-electric hybrid car, is set to regain the title of world’s best-selling automaker from General Motors Co. and Volkswagen AG this year, as the industry heads for a record year. Global 2012 sales will top 80 million cars and trucks for the first time, as robust US and Japanese purchases offset a European downturn, according to estimates from LMC Automotive.
In 2013, Toyota’s overseas sales will rise 8% to 7.87 million, while deliveries in Japan will decline to 2.04 million, the company said in the statement. “We expect sales in the US and Asia to continue to rise next year,” Joichi Tachikawa, a Tokyo-based spokesman for the Japanese carmaker, said on Wednesday by phone. “Asia’s sales will be driven by Indonesia, while for the US, models such as Avalon and Lexus LS will likely help boost sales.”
Toyota had said it will build a new engine factory in Indonesia to more than double capacity, part of a plan by the automaker and its related companies to invest $1.3 billion in the Southeast Asian country over the next five years. Bloomberg