April 4, 2018 / 6:23 AM / in 10 months

Toyota's March China vehicle sales up 5.4 percent year on year

FILE PHOTO: Visitors look at Toyota models at Auto Guangzhou in Guangzhou, China November 17, 2017. REUTERS/Bobby Yip/File Photo

BEIJING (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp’s vehicle sales in China rose 5.4 percent in March from a year earlier to about 118,500 vehicles, the company said on Wednesday.

For the first three months of the year, sales volume totaled about 321,900 vehicles, up 8.7 percent from the same period a year ago.

Toyota aims to sell 1.4 million vehicles in China in 2018, nearly 9 percent more than it sold last year. Toyota insiders have described the target as a stretch goal, in part because of production constraints and other hurdles.

Toyota’s forecast for 2018 is relatively more upbeat than the previous few years, partly as it expects to launch later this year a couple of potentially high-volume subcompact sport-utility vehicles (SUVs) — two China-market versions of the subcompact Toyota CH-R crossover SUV.

The CH-R hit showrooms in the United States in April last year.

Reporting By Norihiko Shirouzu; Editing by Sunil Nair

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