July 28, 2008

Toyota Cuts ’08 Global Auto Sales Estimate to 9.5 M. Units

Tokyo, July 28 (Jiji Press)--Toyota Motor Corp. said Monday that it has cut its group's global vehicle sales projection for 2008 by 350,000 units to 9.5 million units.

Global vehicle output by Toyota and two subsidiaries--Hino Motors Ltd. and Daihatsu Motor Co. --is now also estimated at 9.5 million units, down 450,000 units from the earlier estimate, the top Japanese automaker said.

The bleaker sales projection is still higher than the Toyota group's 2007 sales that totaled 9.37 million units.

But the pace of growth is now set to decelerate amid soaring gasoline prices after the group enjoyed a year-on-year increase of about 500,000 units in the past several years.

By region, sales by Toyota alone in the U.S. market are projected to decrease 200,000 units from the earlier estimated 2.64 million units, the company said.

Sales of large vehicles are slumping there due to a slowdown of the U.S. economy and higher gasoline prices.

The Toyota group's production of fuel-efficient vehicles, including compact cars, and hybrid vehicles has failed to catch up with growing demand for such vehicles in the United States.

The Toyota group's 2008 domestic vehicle sales are projected at 2.23 million units, down 40,000 units from the earlier estimate. Overseas sales are seen at 7.27 million units, down 310,000 units.

The group's production in Japan is now seen totaling 5.02 million units, down 190,000 units, while production abroad is projected at 4.47 million units, down 270,000 units.END

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