Toyota Motor Corp. is anticipating a 20 percent increase in worldwide sales to a record 8.48 million units in 2012 as it recovers from the production losses it incurred due to the natural calamities in Thailand and Japan. In 2008, Toyota outperformed General Motors Co. as the bestselling car manufacturer in the world.
However, it could lose its position this year as supply chain disruptions from the disasters in Japan and Thailand adversely affected production globally.
Estimating 7.9 million unit sales in 2011 for the group, including its Hino Motors and Daihatsu units, the automaker will probably rank third in worldwide sales behind Volkswagen AG and General Motors Co. However, Toyota could regain its number one spot next year while it adds production capacity in Brazil and China and builds inventory to meet pent-up demand.
VW and GM have not disclosed their sales plans for next year. Toyota's parent-only 2012 plan exceeds the 8.43 million peak in 2007. Toyota has not provided plans for the group.
In addition, the automaker publicized its plans to sell 8.95 million Toyota, Lexus and Scion units around the world in 2013, and build 8.98 million automobiles. The company did not give a regional breakdown for the forecasts outside Japan.
During the past two years, Toyota had a tough time, beginning with a quality issue that caused more than 10 million vehicles around the world to be recalled. Once an envy of the auto industry, the company's image was tarnished, and subsequently, it experienced a drop in sales.
Just as it was recovering from the incident, the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan forced the automaker -- as well as its other domestic competitors -- to halt and lower output for several months. [source: Autonews]