Toyota says Jan China auto sales up 18.1 pct y/y

BEIJING Fri Feb 7, 2014 1:48am EST

BEIJING Feb 7 (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp and its two local joint-venture partners sold about 85,600 automobiles in China in January, up 18.1 percent from a year earlier, the Japanese automaker said on Friday.

That follows a 19.4 percent year-on-year jump in December and a 40.7 percent rise in November, which were partly boosted by a low base from last year when sales tumbled due to a surge in anti-Japan sentiment following a territorial dispute between Beijing and Tokyo.

In 2013, Toyota sold about 917,500 vehicles in China, up 9.2 percent from a year earlier, beating its target of 900,000 vehicles, but slower than the overall market growth of 13.9 percent.

A Toyota spokesman, Takanori Yokoi, said the company is aiming to sustain the momentum with key new and significantly redesigned models this year. It aims to sell more than 1.1 million vehicles in China this year, he said.

The carmaker plans to manufacture some 10.3 million automobiles worldwide in 2014.

Toyota operates joint ventures in China with China FAW Group Corp and Guangzhou Automobile Group. (Reporting by Norihiko Shirouzu; and Kazunori Takada)

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