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Toyota sees NA sales rising in fiscal 2013

Keywords: Tags  Toyota, North America, sales, vehicle production, capital spending, earnings results, Akio Toyoda, Corinna Petry

CHICAGO — Toyota Motor Corp. is projecting vehicle sales in North America will rise 25.5 percent  in fiscal 2013, contributing to an overall 18.3 percent gain in global sales.

North American vehicle sales are pegged at 2.35 million vehicles for the year ended March 31, 2013. This follows a drop of 7.8 percent in fiscal 2012 to some 1.87 million vehicles from 2.03 million vehicles in fiscal 2011.

Global vehicle sales are projected at 8.7 million units for fiscal 2013, up 18.3 percent from some 7.35 million vehicles a year earlier.

The company is recovering from an "extremely challenging (year) due to losses in production following the great East Japan earthquake and the Thai floods, in addition to the unprecedented strength of the yen," president Akio Toyoda said in a speech to investors on May 9.

The Toyota City, Japan-based company expects to announce "significant changes" to some of its products this year, Toyoda said. "As we expect many full-model changes for both Toyota and Lexus brands, we plan to launch products in developed markets, as well as emerging markets," he added.

Toyota did not forecast either production or revenue for North America for the current fiscal year, but said it built nearly 1.28 million vehicles in fiscal 2012, down 4.7 percent from almost 1.34 million in fiscal 2011. Fiscal 2012 revenue in the region fell 12.5 percent to ¥4.75 trillion ($59.4 billion) from nearly ¥5.43 trillion the previous year.

Toyota did project exports to North America would reach 730,000 vehicles in fiscal 2013, up 25.2 percent from 583,000 a year earlier and 21.7 percent higher than 600,000 units in fiscal 2011.

The company forecast capital expenditures at ¥130 billion ($1.63 billion) in North America for the current fiscal year, up 69.5 percent from ¥76.7 billion a year earlier but down 8.8 percent from ¥142.6 billion in fiscal 2011.

Globally, Toyota is forecasting production of 8.7 million light vehicles for the current fiscal year, in line with expected sales and up 15.6 percent from nearly 7.53 million vehicles built the prior year.

The automaker is forecasting net income will more than double to ¥760 billion ($9.5 million) for the current fiscal year on an 18.4-percent gain in revenue to ¥22 trillion ($275.1 billion). Fiscal 2012 net income fell 30.5 percent to ¥283.5 billion ($3.5 billion) on revenue that dropped 2.2 percent to ¥18.6 trillion ($232.4 billion).

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