Toyota Cuts Global Sales Forecast

Markets slow in U.S., Japan, Europe

Toyota Motor Corp. on July 28 lowered its global sales target for 2008. The company said it forecast global sales of 9.5 million vehicles this year, down from a previous estimate of 9.85 million. "The target was lowered because of slower markets in Japan, the U.S. and Europe," said company spokesman Paul Nolasco.

"This has been triggered by the U.S. economic stagnation, rising material costs, increasing petroleum prices and some other factors," Nolasco added. But he said Toyota was still aiming for a one percent increase in sales compared with last year, helped by rising sales in China.

Overseas sales are projected to rise two percent as Japanese demand slips one percent.

Toyota also reduced its 2008 global production target to 9.5 million vehicles from 9.95 million.

The automaker, which has expanded its overseas production facilities aggressively in recent years, said in June it would cut output at three U.S. plants in response to weaker demand.

Toyota is now stepping up its focus on emerging markets such as China, India, Russia and Brazil. Its global group sales rose 2.2% in the six months to June from a year earlier to about 4.82 million vehicles.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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