Toyota Motor Corp. rode its popular Highlander and Sequoia sport/utility vehicles to record profits in fiscal 2000 (ended March 31, 2001). Overall unit sales climbed in both Japan and the U.S. during the year, resulting in a 6.6% increase in worldwide vehicle deliveries to 5.52 million units. Group operating profit was up 12.1% to $7.1 billion, beating expectations by analysts and Toyota's own record of $6.7 billion set in 1997/1998. Toyota President Fujio Cho points to an “aggressive product launch strategy” for sparking the automaker's increasing share of sales in Japan. Toyota controls 43.1% of the Japanese market share, up nearly a point from last year. In North America, Toyota's profit increased 26%, but European business was hurt by a weak euro and plant start-up costs in France.