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N. America drives Toyota’s rosier outlook for fiscal '13

Keywords: Tags  Toyota Motor, vehicle sales, operating income, North America sales, auto production, vehicle exports, Takahiko Ijuichi, Corinna Petry

CHICAGO — Japanese automaker Toyota Motor Corp. is forecasting a robust fiscal 2013, largely attributable to increased revenue, profitability and vehicle sales in North America.

Toyota sold 1,865,450 cars and light trucks in the region during the nine months ended Dec. 31, up 47 percent from 1,268,863 vehicles in the same period a year earlier. Toyota manufactured more than 1.24 million vehicles in North America from April 1 to Dec. 31, up 49.1 percent from 831,423 units in the same period a year earlier.

Toyota’s North American operations exported 543,000 vehicles during the first nine months of fiscal 2013, up 37.1 percent from 396,000 units a year earlier. The automaker expects to export 710,000 units for the full 12 months, up 21.8 percent from 583,000 units in fiscal 2012.

North American revenue reached nearly 4.57 trillion yen ($48.78 billion), up 37.7 percent from 3.32 trillion yen in the first nine months of fiscal 2012. Nine-month operating income for the region totaled 165 billion yen ($1.76 billion), up almost 9 percent from 151.8 billion yen in the same year-earlier period.

The increase in operating income was mainly due to higher production volumes and vehicle unit sales, the company said.

Toyota revised its consolidated vehicles sales forecast for the fiscal year to 8.85 million units, up 100,000 units from its Nov. 5 forecast, citing a rise in overseas vehicle sales. It forecast 12-month sales of 2.45 million units in North America.

Toyota forecast a full-year profit on an unconsolidated basis, its first in five years. "We believe that our efforts have been bearing fruit and that we are finally on the road to sustainable growth," senior managing officer Takahiko Ijichi said in a statement. "We will continue our efforts to build ever-better cars and to move forward in a steadfast manner."

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