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Toyota Unlikely to Hit Market Share Peak Again

Toyota Motor Corp. announced earlier today that it isn't likely to ever hit its peak market share that it held four years ago. Today, the company is focused more on improving the quality of its vehicles rather than aggressively expanding its sales. Currently the third best-selling automaker in the U.S., Toyota is set to earn a market share between 14 and 17 percent in the near future, with the automaker's share from January through May at 14.2 percent. "I think we had some tailwinds that were very, very unique, so I'm not sure if 17 percent is a realistic number. But somewhere between today's 14 and that number, I think we will continue to grow," said Toyota CEO of North America Jim Lentz in a recent interview. In 2009, Toyota's U.S. share peaked at 17 percent as American rivals faced bankruptcy, giving the automaker the number two position of best-selling automakers. The new 2014 Corolla is set to go on sale this fall, will help the company reach its target to sell 2.2 million vehicles this year, which would be a 6-percent year-on-year increase. Thanks to the improved economy, Toyota expects to sell 250,000 Prius vehicles this year. "Competition is very fierce in the market this year, and with relatively low gasoline prices, demand for models such as Toyota's Prius may not be very strong," commented Yoshiaki Kawano, a Tokyo-based analyst at IHS Automotive. However, industry-wide deliveries have increase 7.3 percent through May, with Toyota's sales rising 5.2 percent. Source: Automotive News
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