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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Toyota to Start Local Sales Unit

TOKYO — Toyota Motor Corp., the world's third-largest carmaker, plans to set up its own sales unit in Russia to boost market share in the country, the Nikan Kogyo Shimbun industrial daily reported Thursday.

"We are considering forming our own sales company, but have not decided on any concrete plans yet," a Toyota spokeswoman said.

Toyota's executives have said several times that the company was considering forming a Russian sales company.

Toyota cars — the Japanese-made Land Cruiser 100 and RAV4 and British unit-made Avensis models — are currently imported into Russia and sold by Toyota's trading arm, Toyota Tsusho and Sumitomo Corp., with 11 sales outlets.

Toyota plans to submit an application to the Russian government to obtain approval for a sales company, the newspaper said.

Sales of Toyota cars in Russia stood at 2,307 units in 2000, down from 5,979 in 1999, the Toyota spokeswoman said.

Toyota has been forming service centers in Russia since 1991 and now has 21 points, but does not have its own sales unit.

The sales company will be capitalized at 300 million yen ($2.46 million), the newspaper said.

Toyota plans to sell 3,500 cars in 2001 and increase outlets to more than 20 points while aiming to boost sales to more than 10,000 over the next five years, the daily said.

The company is also considering selling its Turkish unit-made Corolla compact model in Russia, the newspaper said.

The spokeswoman, however, said Toyota has no plans to export Turkish unit-made Corollas to Russia.