Toyota Turns Up Heat on GM

A report says the Japanese giant is seeking to gain 15% global market share by 2010.
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Toyota

(TM) - Get Report

has plans to beef up its factory base and tap into surging demand from emerging markets in a bid to capture 15% of the global auto market by 2010, according to an internal document reviewed by

The Wall Street Journal

.

The moves come as the Japanese giant is poised to overtake

General Motors

(GM) - Get Report

as the world's largest automaker as early as this year.

Citing a "global master plan" that has been circulating among Toyota executives this year,

The Journal

reported Monday that the company expects global auto sales by all automakers to jump to 73 million vehicles in 2010 from 65 million in 2005 due to fast-growing economies in China and India. Toyota already is working on a new compact car aimed at consumers in developing countries, the report said.

Toyota passed

Ford

(F) - Get Report

to become the world's second-largest automaker in 2003. Recently, the company unveiled plans to boost global sales to 9.8 million vehicles in 2008.

By comparison, GM sold 9.2 million vehicles worldwide in 2005, and it's ratcheting back its production plans to cope with its dwindling market share. For the third quarter, GM's global auto market share was 13.9%, down from 14.4% a year ago.

Detroit's Big Three automakers -- GM, Ford, and

DaimlerChrysler

(DCX)

-- have all been grappling with competitive pressure from Asian-based automakers like Toyota. Their product lines, which are weighted toward larger vehicles like SUVs and pick-up trucks, have lost favor with consumers. Meanwhile, their bloated cost structures have weighed on their profitability.

For its part, Toyota has seen its profits and sales surge as its cheaper, more fuel efficient cars have become bestsellers in the all-important North American auto market.

Shares of Toyota were recently down 97 cents, or 0.8%, to $120.85. GM shares were up 46 cents, or 1.3%, to $35.13.