December 7, 2012 / 4:11 AM / 5 years ago

Toyota sees Japan sales dropping 20 percent in 2013: media

TOKYO (Reuters) - 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.

Toyota's Corolla Fielder (L) and Corolla Axio are reflected in a Toyota Forte's logo at the company's headquarters in Tokyo November 5, 2012. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

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

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