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Toyota plans to grab 14% of global market
A leaked copy of Toyota Motor Corp.’s “global master plan” calls for grabbing 14% of the world car market by 2010 as the company moves toward unseating rival General Motors Corp. as the world’s biggest automaker, a newspaper said today.

Toyota declined to comment on the report in the Asian Wall Street Journal, but confirmed that the world’s No. 2 automaker is betting on surging demand in places like China and India to fuel rapid expansion.

Toyota, on pace to end GM’s half-century reign as the world’s biggest carmaker, has mapped out plans to capture 15% of the global market in the next three years, up from 11% in 2005, the newspaper reported, citing a confidential document it said was circulated to top Toyota executives earlier this year.

The plan predicts global auto sales to jump to 73 million vehicles in 2010 from 65 million in 2005, the newspaper said, adding that Toyota will likely boost production in India and China to meet demand. The company is already working on a new compact specially geared toward developing countries, where car ownership is on the rise but family budgets are still small, the report said.

In Tokyo, Toyota spokesman Paul Nolasco said he could not comment on the report and said the company has no concrete plans to sell a new minicar model. But Toyota is definitely eyeing the developing markets, he said.

“Russia, India, China and Brazil, no doubt about it. Those four are absolutely where we think a lot of action will be coming,” Nolasco said. “Look at the population and the rate of motorization. There’s a lot of potential for growth.”  More at Detroit Free Press

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