Japanese automaker, Toyota, despite having flat GCC sales in 2000, expects a substantial improvement next year. The cause for optimism is a broader model line-up and national economies, which are reviving, a senior official disclosed.
The car manufacturer predicts year-end GCC sales of 145,000 cars, equivalent to last year's performance, but far below that of 1998 when it sold over 163,000, Gulf News reported.
"But next year should bring us definite gains as we will have an established line-up which has been supported by the launches of the new Corolla, Lexus and others," remarked Dato Akira Okabe, General Manager of sales and marketing division in Oceania and the Middle East.
"Even in a difficult market situation in the GCC we have been averaging about 150,000 units over the last three years and increased our market share," he added.
Toyota registered a record year in 1983, with Gulf region sales exceeding the 200,000-car mark. The company now is fuelled with renewed optimism. Its new Lexus flagship, the LS430, sold out according to Al-Futtaim Motors (AFM) officials. Al-Futtaim is the local dealer of Toyota vehicles in the Gulf.
"We expect the LS430 to notch sales of 200 a month in the GCC, maybe even higher. This has been our experience in Japan where it was introduced in late August." — (Albawaba-MEBG)
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