Toyota Hikes Vehicle Output By 3 Percent

Amidst an environment where U.S. automakers are struggling to survive by administering deep cuts across corporate levels, closing manufacturing plants, eliminating entire brands and drastically reducing production, Toyota Motor Corporation is tentatively edging toward growth. The Japanese automaker is planning to raise its global annual vehicle output by 3 percent between now and March 2010.

This 3 percent increase in production translates into 6.5 million additional Toyota vehicles. The move will enable the world’s largest automaker to hang on to its title. The output expansion signals Toyota’s health despite difficult economic times. The corporation has benefited from and capitalized on incentive programs offered by governments — many linked to encouraging the transition to greater fuel efficiency — worldwide to reduce an aging, sluggish inventory. If sales of these new vehicles sell as Toyota hopes, the automaker could be poised to grab an even larger portion of the global market share and make it increasingly difficult for flailing automakers to regain a solid footing in the world.

The news of the 3 percent increase came less than a week after Toyota reported it was able to slice a whopping one billion dollars off its operating costs. Again, striking while others are reporting a greater operating loss than expected is an enviable coup. Although corporate spokespersons were not commenting on the production increases, industry experts agreed that this was all good news for Toyota. Others hope this is a glimmer of hope for the beginnings of an economic recovery, not just in the auto industry, but across consumer sectors worldwide.

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