Toyota Motor Europe President Didier Leroy told reporters in Paris that its European business is expected to attain 800,000 vehicle sales in the region this year. He also said that even if the market falls slightly, Toyota still expects sales to go up next year. Because of the massive recalls due to unintended acceleration cases, Toyota had to cut its forecast earlier this year.
However, its market share has been recovering since June. Leroy, who took the reins from Tadashi Arashima last July, is the first non-Japanese executive to hold that post. Leroy said that Toyota now expects to recover a 100% of what it lost “versus [its] initial forecast” and is confident that it can achieve sales of 800,000 units.
The past year has been difficult for Toyota as its reputation for quality was hurt by the recall of more than 10 million vehicles and the scrutiny by US safety regulators.
Toyota started the year with a 4.7% market share in Europe, including Russia, Turkey and Israel. Its share dropped significantly starting February and only started recovering in August with a 4.8% share. Toyota is hoping that it will get to more than 4.3% for the year.
As the scrappage schemes in Europe have either ended or are fast running out, carmakers have raised doubts on how they’ll do in the latter part of 2010. Leroy said that the car market in the region in 2011 is expected to be similar to 2010 since the growth in Turkey and Russia offsets the decline in western European countries.
Leroy also divulged that Toyota Motor Europe wants to achieve annual sales of 1 million vehicles but will not be reducing profitability just to achieve volumes.
He explained that Toyota Motor Europe aims to achieve this goal in the next five years. Leroy said that the strength of the yen was putting pressure on Toyota Motor Europe as it attempts to fend off fierce competition from Korean carmakers.