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Toyota Is Planning to Build More Plants In China


  Toyota Motor Corp said it may need more manufacturing plants in China to meet demand as sales in the world's most-populous nation rise about nine times faster than in the US.

   "We would like to increase our production capacity in China," including the "possibility of a new plant," Executive Vice-President Mitsuo Kinoshita said at an investor conference in New York, without elaborating. The Toyota City, Japan-based automaker in June began building its seventh factory in China.
A new facility would support Toyota's bid to reach 10 percent of China's auto market. Its first-half market share was about 6.9 percent, according to Bloomberg calculations based on data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

                    Toyota Pick Up Truck

  Toyota"s first-half sales in China surged 77 percent compared with an 8.8 percent rise in the US Toyota earns most of its profit in the US, though it has said sales are growing more quickly in China, India, Russia and Brazil.

  Jim Lentz, executive vice president of Toyota's US sales unit in Torrance, California, said two consecutive monthly declines hadn't altered the automaker's plan to boost US sales by 5 percent to 7 percent this year.
Back-to-back decreases in July and August were Toyota's first in three years and cut the automaker's US growth to 4.9 percent for the first eight months. Toyota's US sales rose an average of 10 percent annually from 2004 through 2006.

  Toyota is poised to become the world's largest automaker this year, surpassing General Motors Corp. Toyota expects to sell 9.34 million vehicles globally, up 6 percent from last year.
Toyota expects US industry car and light truck sales to grow an average of 100,000 to 200,000 units a year, and may reach 18 million in about 10 years, Lentz said. The figure was 16.56 million in 2006, down 2.6 percent.

  Toyota's American depositary receipts fell 83 cents to $112.47 as of 4:03 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. They have dropped 16 percent this year.


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