NAGOYA, Dec. 19 (Kyodo) — Toyota Motor Corp. is considering setting its group's global production target at around 9.9 million units for 2013, about the same level as this year's all-time high output, sources familiar with the matter said Wednesday.
The Toyota group, however, will shelve a plan to achieve annual production of over 10 million units for next year, a milestone yet to be achieved by any global carmaker, as it expects sluggish sales of Japanese vehicles in the Chinese market due to the recent strained ties between Asia's two biggest economies, the sources said.
Toyota nevertheless expects growth in its car sales in North America and Southeast Asia, according to the sources.
Toyota had earlier announced a plan to produce a record 10.05 million vehicles this year, but revised downward the target in November to 9.89 million units, also due to shrinking demand in Japan following the end of the government's subsidy program for the purchase of environmentally friendly cars.
The target includes production by Daihatsu Motor Co. and truck and bus maker Hino Motors Ltd.
Toyota also revised downward its parent-only production target for next year to 8.7 million units from the earlier announced 8.98 million units amid uncertainties over the situation in China, the sources said. The target compares with 8.72 million units this year.
Of the total, domestic production is expected to drop 10 percent to around 3.1 million units, while overseas production will likely increase 6 percent to roughly 5.6 million units as Toyota plans to boost output in Southeast Asia, they said.
The automaker plans to stick to its plan of producing at least 3 million units in Japan despite the yen's appreciation, which hurts exports.
Meanwhile, the group's auto sales are expected to reach a record 9.7 million units in 2012, the sources said.
According to a projection by research firm Fourin Inc., Toyota will likely take over the top spot in the global auto industry in sales terms for the first time in two years, exceeding German automaker Volkswagen's 9.15 million units and 9.12 million units for General Motors Co. of the United States.