NEW YORK — Hiroshi Okuda, chairman ofMotor Corp., says Japan's top carmaker will produce more vehicles in the markets where it sells them, including the U.S. He also says that Toyota is seeking to increase its return on investment from the current 5%-6% to 10%, or more.
, he says, will continue its New United Motor Mfg. Inc. joint venture with Corp., although the vehicles assembled at the facility might change from the current products. A small sport/utility vehicle is rumored in the pipline.
Okuda made his remarks at a press conference after he rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange when TMC stock began trading there under the symbol TM. In a parallel ceremony in the U.K. on the same day, Toyota stock officially was listed on the London Stock Exchange.
The TMC chief declines to say when or where new foreign plants will be built. Nor does he reveal whether Toyota will close any Japanese plants as production in the home market contracts. Currently, there are no plans to close a plant belonging to a subsidiary, Kanto Auto Works, a supplier of auto bodies and other sheet-metal parts to Toyota.
The chairman forecasts that Toyota will sell more cars in Asia as economies there continue to pick up. Additionally, the Japanese market is showing signs of turning upward.
Although Toyota currently holds a 40% share of the Japanese market, not including minivehicles, most growth will be global.
“We aim to achieve a 10% market share in the U.S.,” Okuda says, noting there are no specific plans for expanding North American production at present.
Once Toyota achieves its market share goal, Okuda says, the company knows it will need to create more U.S. production capacity. That's because Toyota plans to keep imports from Japan at current levels and increase U.S. production.
In London, TMC Executive Vice President and board member Kosuke Yamamoto helped launch TM shares on that exchange. Yamamoto, in charge of domestic sales and overseas operations, says Toyota is targeting a 5% share of the European market by 2005, although it has no current plans to build a third assembly plant there. Toyota assembly plants in the U.K. and in France will produce about 400,000 vehicles by 2005.