Toyota Motor Corp. forecasts sales of over 865,000 vehicles in Europe in 2014, compared to the 847,530 units sold in 2013, according to the head of its European operations, Didier Leroy. He said that Toyota expects to hike its market share in Europe from 4.7 percent in 2013. While Toyota is still aiming to sell 1 million in Europe by 2015, Leroy said that he would not press on achieving that target if it cannot be done profitably.
"We will not grow just for volume," Leroy said. "If I can achieve profitable growth by pushing to 1 million, I will." Leroy remarked that he expected to further hike Toyota's profitability in Europe in the fiscal year ending March after already posting a 56-percent leap in operating profit already to EUR327 million ($450.39 million) in the first nine months.
He quipped that while the weak Russian ruble and Turkish lira had a "very negative" impact on operations, it would not affect the profitability target.
He expects no major improvements in those currencies anytime soon. Leroy said thhat Toyota was carefully observing the current situation in Ukraine and Russia, where the group sold 16,000 and 172,000 vehicles in 2013, respectively.
Toyota counts 56 countries, including Israel and Russia, as part of its European market. "Everyone agrees that the second half of 2013 was already better and 2014 will continue the same trend," Leroy said. "But it will be a very, very slow recovery." He expects growth in the region in 2014 to be driven by western Europe, but is foreseeing stability in central and eastern Europe. [source: Reuters]