Toyota Europe Remains Upbeat Despite Industry Gloom

Toyota Europe Remains Upbeat Despite Industry Gloom

If the targets are reached, Toyota will have bucked the trend in a morose European market forecast to contract by 5% this year and only stabilize in 2013.

Toyota will remain profitable in Europe this fiscal year and will avoid much of the overcapacity problems plaguing rivals, President of Toyota Europe Didier Leroy said on Wednesday.

"We will be profitable in fiscal year 2012 (which ends in March 2013)," Leroy said on the eve of the Paris Auto Show.

The world's number three carmaker in 2011 intends to increase sales in Europe for the second consecutive year, improving on the 822,000 units sold last year, and boost market share from 4.5% in 2011 to 5.5% by 2015 or 2016.

"Our goal remains to achieve one million (units sold) in the mid-term," said the company's European sales and marketing chief Karl Schlicht.

If the targets are reached, Toyota (1000/8) will have bucked the trend in a morose European market forecast to contract by 5% this year and only stabilize in 2013.

For "at least two or three years I don't think that we will have a strong recovery," Leroy said of the overall market that has led to major layoffs at France's Peugeot and put Germany-based Opel, which is owned by General Motors.

But "we don't have overcapacity in Europe," he said, adding that Toyota was looking to optimize its current production flow to better meet surging demand.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012

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