Toyota to raise global sales forecast-paper

TOKYO, July 31 Tue Jul 31, 2012 9:00am IST

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TOKYO, July 31 (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp is set to raise its 2012 global sales forecast to 8.8 million vehicles from the 8.58 million it had announced in February as it sees solid auto sales in emerging economies, Yomiuri newspaper reported on Tuesday.

The revision, to be announced as early as this week, is likely to bring Toyota's group sales forecast close to 10 million vehicles from the current outlook of 9.58 million, the Yomiuri reported without citing a source.

The group forecast includes sales at Daihatsu Motor Co and Hino Motors Ltd.

Japan's biggest automaker did not confirm the report. "We are planning to closely study the current conditions in considering such matters," said Joichi Tachikawa, a spokesman at Toyota.

The maker of Camry sedans and hybrid vehicle Prius regained the lead in global car sales over General Motors Co in the first half of 2012, having sold 4.97 million vehicles worldwide.

That was a jump from the 3.72 million it sold last year, when the car maker was grappling with the effects of a huge earthquake that struck Japan in March.

Toyota, due to report its first-quarter earnings on Friday, is expected to swing to a quarterly operating profit of 306.1 billion yen ($3.9 billion) for the three months to June, from a 108 billion yen loss in the same period a year ago, according to an estimate of seven analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

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