Tokyo: Toyota Motor Corp. will cut its global sales target for 2009, pushing back its goal of becoming the world’s first company to sell more than 10 million vehicles in one year, a report said Thursday.
Toyota, vying with General Motors to be the world’s top automaker, will trim its sales goal for next year to about 9.8 million vehicles, from 10.4 million previously, the Nikkei business daily reported without citing sources.
Company officials have already acknowledged that it would be hard to achieve the existing target due to weak demand in major markets. Toyota recently cut its global sales target for 2008 to 9.5 million vehicles from 9.85 million.
The company is now stepping up its focus on emerging markets such as China, India, Russia and Brazil to offset weakness in developed markets, while shifting production in the United States to smaller cars and hybrid vehicles.
Toyota has enjoyed fast-growing sales and profits in recent years, helped by strong interest in its fuel-sipping hybrids.
But the US economic slump, weak domestic demand and soaring commodity costs have put the brakes on its expansion. Toyota sold 4.82 million vehicles worldwide in the six months to June, ahead of GM’s 4.54 million.