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Toyota's European First Half Sales Rise 10%; Record June Sales

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Toyota Motor Europe (TME) sold a total of 589,590 units in the period from January to June 2006, an increase of 10% over the same period in 2005, in an overall market that was up by approximately 3%. TME's overall market share for the first six months was up 0.3 percentage points to 5.7%. TME also achieved absolute record monthly sales in June with 111,978 units (+13% compared to June 2005), with a market share that was up 0.8 percentage points to 6%. The Lexus brand's six-month sales rose 102% to 26,941 units. In the six-month period, Toyota produced 361,719 cars, 453,198 engines and 297,746 transmissions at its plants in the U.K., France, Turkey, Poland and the Czech Republic. For 2006, Toyota has set the European target of exceeding 1 million units in Toyota brand sales and 45,000 units in Lexus brand sales. Operating at record capacity, Toyota aims to produce 806,000 cars, 860,000 engines and 575,000 transmissions in 2006.
The Toyota brand set an absolute monthly record in June with sales of the Yaris (26,380 units; +12% compared to June of the previous year); the RAV4 (11,325 units; + 15%); the Corolla Verso (9,745 units; +9%) and the AYGO (9,229 units). Meanwhile, sales of the hybrid Prius also achieved a monthly record in June (1,913 units; +18%).
The recent introductions of the new GS and IS models helped spur Lexus brand sales to double in the January - June period. Lexus Hybrid Drive made a real impact, as the combined sales of the RX 400h (6,577 units) and GS 450h (676 units) represented 27% of total sales. Meanwhile, diesel sales represented 25% of total Lexus brand sales, thanks to the IS 220d (6,598 units).

For the January to June period, the U.K. was TME's largest national market in Europe, with 71,954 units sold (-3% from the same period last year), followed by Germany (71,172 units; +4%), Italy (71,072 units; -1%) and France (52,198 units; +11%). Toyota sales in Russia, the fifth largest Toyota market, rose 41% to 43,692 units.