Toyota Forecasts A Record 2% Growth For 2013

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Toyota Motor Corporation (NYSE:TM) expects a record level 2 percent growth in its global sales for 2013, despite a strong yen and a consumer backlash in China. The growth expectations seems to hint that the company has fully recovered from the business disruptions following Japan’s 2011 earthquake.

The Japanese automaker plans to sell a record 9.70 million vehicles in 2012, which will help it regain the top spot in global sales for the first time in two years, surpassing General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) and Volkswagen AG (PINK:VLKAY) (PINK:VLKPY). The figure represents a 22 percent jump from 2011, when earthquake and tsunami, as well as severe floods in Thailand, disrupted operations.

“After the subsidies expired in September, car sales in Japan didn’t fall tremendously, so Toyota’s forecast for domestic deliveries to drop 15 percent next year is bigger than we expected,” Yoshiaki Kawano, a Tokyo-based industry analyst at IHS Automotive said, “The U.S. 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”.

General Motors Company (NYSE:GM), the leader last year sold 6.954 million vehicles in the first nine months of the year, while, VW, the second largest auto maker in 2011, sold 8.29 million vehicles in the first 11 months of the year. For 2013, Toyota Motor Corporation (NYSE:TM) expects sales to reach 9.91 million vehicles.

“We expect sales in the U.S. and Asia to continue to rise next year,” Joichi Tachikawa, a Tokyo-based spokesman for the Japanese carmaker said today. “Asia’s sales will be driven by Indonesia, while for the U.S., models such as Avalon and Lexus LS will likely help boost sales.”

China, the world’s biggest auto market remains a cause for worry for Toyota Motor Corporation (NYSE:TM) and other Japanese car makers, owing to grim talks over territorial disputes between Asia’s two biggest economies.

The company looks on a stable growth path, but a 22 percent decline in sales for November, highlights the fact that there is still a lot to do. The carmaker is expected to release its China sales figures for 2012 early next year. The company also faces headwinds in its home market, after the end of auto purchasing subsidies by the government last September. In Japan, Toyota expects a 15 percent drop of sales in 2013 to 2.04 million vehicles, against a 35% jump in 2012.

The redesigned Lexus LS and Avalon in the U.S.  and also light trucks and low-cost small cars in India and Brazil will compensate for the sluggish sales in Japan and China. Also, weakening of yen to a 20-month low against the dollar will boost the company’s profits.

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