Japan's biggest automaker is slipping

&to=http://english.pravda.ru/comp/2002/09/26/37267.html' target=_blank>Toyota Motor Corp., Japan's biggest automaker, reported earnings slipped in the second fiscal quarter but posted a record profit for the first fiscal half as sales growth in North America, Europe and Japan offset losses from an unfavorable exchange rate.

Toyota chairman Horoshi Okuda said Monday that Toyota is determined to boost growth around the world, including by adding another production plant in North America in the next few years. He did not give details.

Toyota now has four car-assembly facilities operating in North America, and a new plant in Texas is set to begin operation in 2006. Toyota also has a car plant in Mexico scheduled to begin production in December, informs Forbes.

According to Bloomberg, ``There's a concern that rising incentives in the U.S. erode the profits from Japanese automakers,'' said Naohiko Sasaki, who helps manage the equivalent of $3.4 billion in Japanese equities as co-head of investments at Kokusai Asset Management Co. in Tokyo.

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