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Toyota Projects Sales Growth in 2020

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Toyota believes it will sell around 10.77 million vehicles around the world in 2020, a projection that would nudge it closer to Volkswagen and that demonstrates the automaker expects continued growth in the industry.

Toyota sold a record 10.59 million vehicles in 2018, just short of Volkswagen’s industry-leading 10.83 million, but will be closer to 10.72 million by the end of the month. While there have been signs of market slowdown, a strong end to 2019 has led the Japanese car manufacturer to expect even better performance in 2020.

Competition is extremely tight between the world’s top auto conglomerates, which include the Toyota Motor Corporation, Volkswagen Group, and the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance. Automakers are fighting to sell cars in a difficult global environment complicated by fragile economies, trade tensions and a massively costly industry shift toward autonomous driving technologies, powertrain electrification, and ride-on-demand business models.

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And even as governments push car manufacturers to sell ever-cleaner and more efficient cars, consumers continue to show a preference for large utility vehicles that undermine these companies’ ability to meet regulations without further investing millions and sometimes billions in electrification.

As a result, companies like Toyota have been forging alliances with rival companies like Subaru, Mazda, and Suzuki in an attempt to achieve economies of scale and reduce costs. Volkswagen has done likewise with Ford, and Honda with General Motors.

Consolidation was also the focus of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance. It sold 10.76 million vehicles last year, but is not expected to reproduce the result following legal troubles that included the arrest and imprisonment of chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn.

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