Japanese auto giant Toyota -- currently world number four by global sales -- aims to do even better next year.

The company announced Thursday it plans to increase worldwide sales to 7.08 million units, four percent higher than this year's record-breaking figure. The total includes output from subsidiary companies Daihatsu Motor Company and Hino Motors.

Currently Toyota is outsold by America's big three automakers: General Motors, Ford Motor Company and DaimlerChrysler. However, to the accompaniment of coast-to-coast shockwaves, it temporarily toppled the latter from third place in US Q3 sales this year.

Toyota expects sales growth to continue in its key global markets of North America, Europe and Asia next year, with the strongest growth seen in southeastern Asia and China.

Also yesterday, another Nipponese manufacturer, Honda Motor Company, announced its ambitions for next year, setting a global sales target 10% above 2003 to 3.2 million vehicles.

Data sourced from: The Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff