) --


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plans to spend $1 billion on marketing to boost its U.S. sales in the fourth quarter and is looking to expand models under the Prius name.

The $1 billion for marketing is 30% to 40% more than Toyota typically spends in the quarter, according to the

Wall Street Journal

, which cited a person familiar with the company's operations.

Toyota, the world's largest automaker, laid out its strategy of increasing U.S. sales in a meeting earlier this week with its U.S. dealers.

The automaker also plans to expand its line of gas-electric hybrid models under the Prius name, the


reports, citing people briefed on the plans. Toyota is considering offering new hybrid models larger and smaller than the current compact Prius.

Toyota reported its worst loss ever of 436.9 billion yen ($4.8 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, and has projected an even worse fiscal year through March 2010.

-- Reported by Joseph Woelfel in New York


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