Toyota to sell 835,000 vehicles in Europe in 2012 image

Toyota Motor Corp. still expects cars sales in Europe to rise to 835,000 units this year, even if Q1 deliveries fell 6.4 percent to 218,490 vehicles.

The Japanese automaker said its sales performance was in line with the contracting European automotive market and that it remained on schedule to meet its forecast of selling 835,000 vehicles this year.

Europe’s car industry is buckling under the pressure of competitive discounting as carmakers and dealers cut the prices of their cars to keep their factories busy.

Toyota is forecasting that Western Europe’s car market will contract 5 per cent this year and the continent’s overall car market – including Eastern Europe and Russia – will fall 4.2 per cent.

On the same time, Toyota raised its 2012 sales forecast for the U.S. due to improving consumer confidence, rising gasoline prices and strong pent-up demand on the back of aging vehicles on road.

“We’re starting to see improvement in consumer confidence, and combined with rising fuel prices and aging vehicles, the market is starting to move,” Bob Carter, Toyota’s group vice president for U.S. sales, told reporters at the New York International Auto Show.

U.S. light-vehicle sales rose 13 per cent in the year’s first quarter to 3.47 million. Toyota, Asia’s largest automaker, followed Ford Motor Co. in boosting its 2012 forecast.