Toyota: May Miss U.S. Sales Goal; Sticks with Global Target for Now

By Michelle Krebs June 24, 2008

TOKYO -- Toyota may not meet its goal of selling more vehicles in the U.S. this year than last because of the weak economy. However, Toyota is sticking with its target of selling more vehicles globally for the year on the strength of emerging markets, the company said at its annual meeting in Tokyo Tuesday.

Executive Vice President Tokuichi Uranishi told shareholders Toyota might miss its goal of selling 2.64 million vehicles in the U.S. this year. Selling more than the 2.62 million vehicles Toyota sold last year in the U.S. would be difficult, Uranishi told shareholders

U.S. vehicle sales are at their lowest level in decades, and Uranishi predicts they could slip under 15 million vehicles this year, a million or so units lower than 2007.

Toyota has been scaling back U.S. production of its full-size Tundra pickup.

Still, until automaker's official review of its global sales plan next month, Toyota expects a 5-percent hike in its global sales to 9.85 million vehicles on the strength of emerging markets of China and Russia.

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