Japanese auto giant Toyota is aiming to boost its global market share by 50% over the next eight years to a level which could see it leapfrog from the world’s third largest car maker to its first.

In a document 2010 Global Vision issued Monday, Toyota set a target of 15% worldwide market share, driven by continued emphasis on the core markets of America and Japan, plus expansion in emerging regions such as India and China.

Such growth would push Toyota ahead of current global leader General Motors (14.9%) and second-placed Ford Motor Company (12.8%).

However, even Toyota admitted that its ambitions were on the lofty side – in a footnote to the document, the auto firm conceded that “actual results may differ considerably”.

Analysts tended to agree. One noted that annual global car sales are expected to increase from last year’s 57.5 million to as much as 65m by 2010, meaning that, to achieve 15% share, Toyota will have to boost production by 48% over the next eight years.

Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff