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Toyota US new car sales unlikely to hit 14 mln-report

NEW YORK, Oct 3 (Reuters) - U.S. new car sales are unlikely to reach 14 million in 2008 compared with 16.15 million last year as the financial crisis worsens, according to a report by Nikkei Business News citing Toyota Motor Corp's 7203.T president Katsuaki Watanabe.

“We thought we had entered an extremely difficult time for the auto industry, but it has become even tougher,” Watanabe was quoted as saying in the report on Nikkei’s website.

According to the report, this was the first time a Toyota executive had mentioned the possibility of U.S. new car sales coming in below 14 million units. In early September, Watanabe estimated that the figure would be around 14 million, the report said.

Toyota had set a goal to introduce hybrid versions of all its car models by 2020, the report said, but added the target may be brought forward. The report quoted Watanabe as saying the company is considering revamping its plans. (Editing by Brad Dorfman)

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