Monday, May 12, 2008

Toyota introduces to new minivans, the Alphard and the Vellfire, in Japan

In order to cope with the lower car sales in Japan, the country's largest car company, Toyota Motor Corporation (TYO:7203), has introduced to new minivans in Japan. This year, the company observed a sales drop of 2.4% in Japan. The two minivans-Alphard and the Vellfire, will cost the same; between 3 million ($29,000)-4.5 million yen. The Alphard was first introduced in 2002 and it has been revamped for the first time. With these two models Toyota is going to compete with Elysion of Honda Motor Company Limited (TYO:7267) and Elgrand of Nissan Motor Company Limited (TYO:7201). Toyota is expecting to sell 3000 units per month. Bloomberg reports:

Toyota needs to spur sales in Japan with new models as the market has one of the shortest model cycles of any country, according to analysts. Including the revamped Crown sedan in February, the Toyota City, Japan-based company has introduced three new models domestically so far this year.

The company plans to raise domestic sales 0.6 percent to 1.6 million vehicles this year, it said in December. Toyota's sales in the country, which accounts for about 19 percent of the carmaker's total sales, rose for the first time in five months in April.

Last week, Toyota announced a drop in its net income for the first time in nine years in the USA, the largest and most profitable market of Toyota. The company is planning more cost cuts to balance the higher raw material prices.

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