Toyota to sell 10 million vehicles this year – CEO image

Toyota’s CEO Akio Toyoda, during an interview with Nikkei Asian Review said the automaker will sell 10 million vehicles this year – up from 9.98 million units it sold last year.

“That is our first step to ensure we stay on a growth path after achieving global sales of 10 million units. We have assigned six executive vice presidents to oversee the Toyota No. 1 and No. 2 divisions”, Toyoda said.

However the executive doesn’t expect brisk sales in all regions. In the U.S. Toyota sales fell 4 percent in February – to 159,284 units – but still the Japanese automaker is the market leader.

Toyota, the largest carmaker in the world has agreed to pay last week a $1.2 billion penalty to end a U.S. criminal probe into sudden unintended acceleration. The automaker recalled more than 10 million vehicles in the United States. The penalty is the largest in the history of any carmaker in the world.

Last year, the maker of Camry sedan sold 9.98 million units (up 2 percent compared to 2012), while competitor GM sold 9.71 million vehicles and VW, Europe’s largest carmaker about 9.7 million cars.

But the competition is getting is getting more intense as VW already announced a year ago that plans to surpass General Motors and Toyota and become the world’s largest automaker by 2018.