BEIJING, June 3 Japan's Toyota Motor Corp
and its two local joint-venture partners sold a total
of 81,136 automobiles in China in May on a preliminary estimated
basis, up roughly 3 percent from a year earlier, according to
three sources with direct knowledge of the matter.
That compares to 79,000 vehicles it sold in May 2013.
Toyota's sales in China rose 12.4 percent in April and 19
percent in March.
During the first five months of the year, Japan's biggest
automaker sold a total of 394,902 vehicles, up 16 percent from a
year earlier, the sources said.
Toyota is scheduled to officially announce its overall China
sales for May later on Tuesday.
A China-based Toyota spokesman declined to comment.
The sources said the pace of growth slowed in May chiefly
because sales of the Corolla, a major product for Toyota's
manufacturing and sales joint venture with China FAW Group Corp,
fell sharply ahead of the planned launch of a redesigned version
of the Corolla this summer. They didn't elaborate on specific
reasons for the slowdown.
Overall, however, they said Toyota is on track to be able to
sell more than 1.1 million vehicles in China this year - a
target the company set at the outset of the year. The company
first targeted sales of 1 million vehicles a year in China in
Last year, Toyota sold 917,500 vehicles in China.
Toyota operates joint ventures in China with FAW Group and
Guangzhou Automobile Group.
(Reporting by Norihiko Shirouzu; Editing by Kazunori Takada and