Toyota ’09 China sales may rise 19% to 700,000 units image

Toyota Motor may increase vehicle sales in China 19% this year to 700,000 units, the company’s senior managing director said today, Bloomberg reported.

Last month, Toyota Motor’s sales in China increased 42% from a year earlier to 65,500 vehicles. The robust sales in October boosted the company’s overall sales in the Chinese market during the January-October period to 551,769 vehicles, up 16%.

Its China sales are rallying from the first half, when they shrank after the company failed to anticipate demand for smaller cars, but its sales growth in China still lags behind that of General Motors, whose China sales this year may exceed 1.6 million vehicles, up 47% from last year.

In September, Toyota Motor said that it would increase the proportion of its smaller cars in the Chinese market for sales growth. The carmaker also plans to launch a new subcompact “family car” in China by 2015.

Toyota will spend $330-440 million to build a research and development (R&D) center in China early next year to meet local demand. The new facility, to be built on the outskirts of Shanghai, is part of the automaker’s efforts to expand its China business.

Source: Gasgoo