Toyota Motor aims to double sales in China to 2 million vehicles in future

BEIJING (Reuters) - Toyota <7203.T> aims to double auto sales in China to around 2 million vehicles a year in the future, a senior executive said on Sunday, as the top global car maker plays catchup to rivals, such as Volkswagen <VOWG_p.DE>, in the world's largest auto market.

Toyota Motor Corp's Executive Vice President Yasumori Ihara, who made the comments during a news conference at the Beijing auto show, did not give a specific time frame for the target.

In 2013, Toyota sold 917,000 vehicles in China, up 9 percent from a year earlier, recovering from a sales plunge after September 2012 due to a diplomatic row between Japan and China over a set of isles. Its market share was at around 5 percent.

If Toyota is able to hit its sales target of 1.1 million vehicles or more this year, it would meet the objective of selling 1 million vehicles a year in China four years later than initially planned.

Toyota operates joint ventures in China with China FAW Group Corp and Guangzhou Automobile Group <601238.SS> <2238.HK>.

(Reporting by Yoko Kuboya in BEIJING; Writing by Lee Chyen Yee)