Toyota has new 2.25 million vehicles goal for U.S. image

Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. has again increased its 2013 sales target thanks to a robust overall market and key new launches occurring this year.

Bob Carter, senior vice president of automotive operations, told dealers at Toyota’s recent national dealer meeting in Atlanta he expects Toyota and Scion divisions to sell more than 2 million units this year. Including Lexus, the tally should exceed 2.25 million units.

After its initial expectations for 2013 proved too minute, this is the third consecutive bump in expectations, after the end of last year when they expected to reach for all three brands about 2.15 million, up from 2.08 million in 2012. Then, in April, the corporate expectation went up to “2.2 million-plus,” but the officials did not expect Toyota Division to top 1.95 million units.

“The market is starting to recover in the same pattern we projected,” Carter said in an interview. “It just started about six months before we thought. I think the market’s there and we’re seeing the traffic.”

The revised targets go along with Toyota’s increasingly optimistic industry forecast of 15.5 million units for 2013. At the beginning of the year, they predicted the industry would finish around 14.7 million sales. In April, Toyota bumped its 2013 industry estimate to 15.3 million.