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Toyota Reports Record Quarterly Profit Sales, Eyes Number One Spot

Toyota Reports Record Quarterly Profit Sales, Eyes Number One Spot

In Tokyo: After taking the number two spot from Ford, Toyota is now hot on the heels of General Motors. The giant Japanese automaker now has its eyes on taking the number one spot from the world’s largest automaker. After recently reporting a 7.3% jump in quarterly profit as a result of its booming sales in North America and Europe offsetting the sluggish demand in Japan, Toyota Motor Company is getting closer to achieving its goals.

Toyota has recorded a group net profit of 426.8 billion yen or $3.6 billion USD in three months (until Dec. 31), an increase from 397.6 billion yen for the same period the previous year.

The automaker’s quarterly sales climbed a solid 15.2% to 6.15 trillion yen or $51.2 billion USD from 5.33 trillion yen a year ago. The remarkable sales obtained by Toyota was the result of a sudden influx of demand for its remodeled RAV4 sport utility vehicle and Camry mid-sized sedan in North America. Similarly the strong demand for the Yaris compact in Europe has also contributed significantly in its increase in sales.

According to Koji Endo, auto analyst with Credit Suisse First Boston Securities in Tokyo, “Toyota’s numbers are super, super strong. To be honest, it’s hard to find anything bad at this point.”

Senior Managing Director Takeshi Suzuki said that the high sales return that Toyota is gaining every quarter is the result of the company’s unwavering efforts in marketing quality products.

With the increasing demand for Toyota products in the US, it is not surprising if the automaker will once again plan to build another factory to keep up with the strong demand there. According to American newspapers, the locations being considered by ToMoCo for its next factory site are Chattanooga, Tenn., Marion, and Ark. The automaker has not released any official statement on the matter.

Toyota is renowned for reliable, fuel-efficient cars and the rise in oil prices has further boost its sales. It is also the leader in the production of hybrid vehicles which use electricity and gasoline. In terms of profitability, Toyota has long beaten General Motors Corporation but in terms of annual global vehicle production ToMoCo only comes second to GM.

Last month, Toyota reports that global vehicle production topped 9 million in 2006 at 9.018 million vehicles marking the fifth year of continuous growth. On the other hand, General Motors and its group of automakers have produced 9.18 million vehicles worldwide in 2006 which is about 162,000 vehicles more than its Japanese rival.

Toyota along with its Lexus luxury line has been able to surpass DaimlerChrysler AG as the number 3 auto seller in the US for the very first time in 2006. The company is keeping its vehicle sales forecast for the fiscal year ending March 31 at 8.47 million vehicles. The automaker’s vehicle production rose to 9% to 2.09 million units in the quarter.

ToMoCo has also stated that the weak yen boosts the value of overseas earnings adding 30 billion yen or $250 million USD to the third quarter earnings of the automaker. Similarly the reduction efforts of the company have also contributed another 20 billion yen or $167 million USD to the company’s earnings. Toyota will also maintain its forecast for the full fiscal year through March with its projected earnings of 1.55 trillion yen ($12.9 billion USD) or 23.3 trillion yen ($193 billion) sales.

The question now is: Will General Motors, world’s numero uno and maker of popular brand of auto parts like GM Door handle let Toyota take away its title?