December 29, 2004

Forecasting firm predicts Toyota will become one of the ‘Big Three’ by 2009

Detroit, Michigan – CSM Worldwide, a market intelligence and forecasting services company, predicts the Toyota Group, which consists of the Toyota, Lexus and Scion brands, will pass DaimlerChrysler as the third largest seller of automobiles in the United States by 2009.

Currently fourth in the U.S. auto market behind the traditional Big Three of General Motors, Ford, and DaimlerChrysler, Toyota holds 12 percent of U.S. light vehicle sales. By 2009, CSM projects annual Toyota Group sales to widen 24 percent to more than 2.5 million units per year, or 14.1 percent market share, enough to dislodge DaimlerChrysler.

“Robust growth for the automaker will stem from an unrelenting product offensive, intensified effort in the luxury market, incremental volume from Scion, and strong brand equity,” said Joseph Barker, CSM Worldwide manager of North American Sales Analysis.

CSM forecasts Toyota brand sales will climb 23 percent by 2009 as its offerings nudge further upmarket and expand body style and powertrain options. The upcoming Avalon is a hint of things to come on the car side. Toyota also hopes to lure truck buyers with a more expansive line-up of upsized, more powerful CUVs, SUVs, and pickups.

At Lexus, sales are projected to grow 40 percent by 2009 despite intense competition in the luxury realm. CSM sees Lexus growth spawning from the addition of new nameplates and successor models that will exceed the sales level of outgoing vehicles by as much as five-fold. The bold 2006 GS luxury sport sedan will spearhead the Lexus product offensive and establish the future design direction for the brand.

CSM expects sales from Scion, Toyota’s youth brand, to reach 125,000 units in 2005 before stabilizing at 100,000 to 120,000 units over the long term. Because Scion is attracting new customers rather than cannibalizing from Toyota, sales are incremental to the Group.

In addition to expected robust nameplate sales, CSM points to Toyota’s wide-ranging North American manufacturing base, strong residuals and resilient brands as key attributes that bolster the company’s position in the U.S. market.

CSM Worldwide provides more than 350 of the world’s top automakers, suppliers and financial organizations with global market intelligence and forecasting services.

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