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Toyota overtakes Ford as world's number two carmaker

Toyota has become the first Japanese company to turn in net profits of more than one trillion yen.

The carmaker said its net profits rose 55% in the year, March 2003, to 1.16 trillion yen (£5.8bn), with sales up in every major world market.

Toyota overtook Ford to become the world's number two carmaker after General Motors during 2003.

Toyota did not forecast what its sales and profits would be for the coming year but did say it is, “aiming for 15% of the world automobile market within a decade”.

Like other Japanese exporters, Toyota has expressed concern about the decline of the US dollar and the rise of the yen.

But analysts warn that income from the US could also suffer from a limited range of new models and flattening demand for its popular Prius hybrid cars, despite its strong brand.

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