By Naoko Fujimura and Tetsuya Komatsu
Nov. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Toyota Motor Corp., the world's second-largest automaker, expects sales in China to surge 33 percent next year as it introduces the new Corolla model.
Sales will rise to 400,000 vehicles a year from 300,000 this year, Yoshimi Inaba, executive vice president, told reporters in Beijing. The company will start selling the Corolla in the middle of next year.
Toyota and other Japanese automakers are trying to win customers in China from General Motors Corp. and Volkswagen AG, reducing their reliance on the U.S. Toyota earns as much as 60 percent of its operating profit in the U.S., the world's biggest auto market.
``Toyota and other Japanese automakers need introduce more new models and raise local production,'' said Ichiro Takamatsu, a chief investment officer at Alphex Investments Co. in Tokyo. ``China is the market that no one can ignore.''
In the six months ended Sept. 30, Toyota sold about 34 percent of its vehicles in North America, compared with 3.7 percent in China. The automaker has about 15 percent of the U.S. market, after starting to make vehicles locally in 1984. Toyota has 6 percent of China's passenger car market where it started selling locally made cars in 2002.
Toyota makes Vios compact cars with FAW Group Co. and began production of the Camry sedans with Guangzhou Automobile Group Co. in May.
To contact the reporter on this story: Naoko Fujimura in Tokyo at