TOKYO – Toyota Motor Corp <7203.T> expects Japan vehicle sales to fall by a fifth next year, in part due to the end of government tax incentives for fuel-efficient automobiles, domestic media reported, adding to the pain from a decline in China sales.
Japanese vehicle sales account for 30 percent of Toyota's total sales volumes, and industry data shows that since the end of government tax incentives for purchases of fuel-efficient cars in mid-September, domestic new vehicle sales have fallen each of the past three months.
Toyota has decided to set its 2013 domestic sales target for Toyota-brand cars at 1.36 million vehicles, down from its 1.67 million target for this year, the Mid-Japan Economist, a regional newspaper, said on its website without citing sources.
It noted that a backlog of orders following supply-chain disruptions from last year's earthquake and tsunami had inflated sales this year.
A Toyota spokesman said nothing has been decided about its 2013 domestic sales target.
Last month, Toyota cut its group-wide global 2012 sales forecast, which includes Daihatsu Motor Co Ltd <7262.T> and Hino Motors Ltd <7205.T>, to 9.66 million vehicles from a previous outlook of 9.76 million vehicles, following declines in China sales on a bilateral territorial dispute over islands in the East China Sea.
This week, it said sales in China, the world's biggest auto market, fell 22 percent in November from a year earlier which follows drops of 44 percent in October and nearly 50 percent in September.
Toyota shares stood 0.4 percent higher at the midday break, in line with a 0.2 percent rise for the benchmark Nikkei 225 <.N225>.
(Reporting by James Topham, Kentaro Sugiyama, Mayumi Negishi; Editing by Michael Watson and Edwina Gibbs)