Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Toyota's 10 Million Car Problem

Toyota has the capacity to crank out 10 million cars a year, even if the global recession has slowed demand. Its Prius is the big winner in hybrids and could lead the way toward an extensive fleet of eco-friendly Toyotas. But Prius sales are a fairly small percentage of Toyota's global sales at this point.

Looking at the road ahead, China could be Toyota's best hope for making the most of its production capacity. According to Forbes, that country's consumers may soon be buying 20 million cars a year. And Akio Toyoda, the new CEO, knows the market well because he's managed some of Toyota's Chinese operations.

Toyota is going to produce its new Crown luxury sedan in China for the local market. It's also stepping up dealership activity in China. All told, the China market moves 11 million new cars every year--no wonder Toyota is steering in this direction.

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