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Aug. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Toyota Motor Corp., the world's second-largest carmaker, lowered its forecast for 2009 auto sales growth to 2.1 percent from 5.6 percent as record fuel prices and slowing economies damp global demand.

Sales will climb to 9.7 million vehicles next year from an estimated 9.5 million this year, the company said in a statement today. It previously forecast sales to rise to 10.4 million from 9.85 million.

The automaker will reduce production in the U.K. and Poland, adding to cuts in the U.S. Toyota lowered the target for North America, its biggest market, by 10 percent as drivers buy fewer sport-utility vehicles and pickup trucks because of gasoline prices that have reached $4 a gallon.

``The operating environment is getting tougher, that's for sure,'' said Edwin Merner, who oversees $2 billion as president of Atlantis Investment Research Corp. in Tokyo. ``Those numbers are fairly realistic.''

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=adfMQ5wgKTGQ&refer=home
 
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