Toyota Motor Corp. believes that adding at least 10 new hybrid models will help boost an increase in European sales to 1 million vehicles by 2013 or 2014, an increase from about a quarter from last year, according to Toyota Motor Europe President Didier Leroy.
He also said that the automaker will aim to raise sales in the region by 10% this year from the 808,000 sold in 2010 -- higher than the 7% increase that headquarters had forecast last December.
Right before the start of the Geneva Auto Show, Leroy (the first non-Japanese head of Toyota's European operations last June) said that between 2013 to 2014, the company must go back to 1 million sales.
It’s likely that about 20% of those sales will be a hybrid car, compared with 9% last year. Toyota's European sales peaked at 1.2 million vehicles in 2007, before the financial crisis.
Leroy said that while Toyota's market share declined slightly to 4.6% in Europe last year due to the recall crisis, earnings were improving faster than expected because of a more disciplined approach to costs and marketing.
He said that in the October-December quarter, the European operations posted a profit of 20 million euros ($27.5 million), reversing losses for the first time in about three years. [via autonews - sub. required]