Toyota looks to India and China
TOKYO - Toyota Motor Corp., which has sunk to number three in global vehicle sales, is counting on emerging markets to revive its fortunes.
Toyota sold 3.7 million vehicles in the first half of 2011, down 11 percent from a year earlier. Sales crashed 62 percent in April, May, and June because of production disruptions caused by the March earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
That put it behind General Motors Co. and Volkswagen AG. Toyota has been the top-selling automaker in annual sales for the past three years.
Sandeep Singh, deputy managing director at Toyota’s joint venture in India, said growth in India is so solid for Toyota that he is confident the company is headed in the right direction.
Singh said the difficulties from the disaster are temporary, and Toyota’s vision for growth remains unchanged.
“The targets we have been given, we are on track for that,’’ he said of India’s part of the plan.
Toyota’s sales in India jumped 53 percent this year to 53,100 for the first half, and the growth is expected to continue because of production capacity boosts, Singh said.
Toyota, number five in India in market share, is pushing the made-for-India Etios small sedan to attract an emerging middle class.
And Toyota is expecting to sell 900,000 vehicles in China this year, up 6 percent from last year. In 2010, Toyota sold nearly 75,000 vehicles in India, up 34 percent from 2009.