Toyota Motor Corp will boost production capacity for its Lexus luxury cars in Japan by about 35 percent in 2009 to meet growing demand in emerging countries such as Russia and China, the Nikkei business daily reported on Wednesday.
Japan's largest automaker will increase annual output capacity to about 850,000 cars in 2009 by adding equipment at two domestic plants, the newspaper said.
A spokeswoman said no such decision had been made.
The plants in Aichi and Fukuoka prefectures currently have a combined capacity of 600,000 cars a year, and Toyota aims to increase that to 630,000 this year, the Nikkei said.
Toyota, like domestic rivals Honda Motor Co and Nissan Motor Co, has a basic policy of building vehicles where they are sold, but all three make most of their luxury cars in Japan, where expensive components are more readily available. Toyota builds the Lexus RX sport utility vehicle model in Canada.
Toyota has not officially disclosed any plans to boost its overall domestic capacity from the current 3.8 million vehicles, but executives have said rising demand for Lexus cars in emerging markets would likely necessitate an expansion.
Toyota sold 518,300 Lexus cars globally last year, up 9 percent from 2006 and accounting for roughly 6 percent of Toyota's total sales.
The Nikkei also said Toyota had set an internal goal of producing 11.3 million vehicles globally in 2012, excluding its units Daihatsu Motor Co and Hino Motors Ltd. That would represent a rise of more than 30 percent from 2007.
Toyota denied having set that target. Last year, it announced a goal of increasing global sales to about 10.4 million vehicles in 2009 including Daihatsu and Hino.
Shares in Toyota ended up 1.5 percent at 6,060 yen in late afternoon trade, matching the rise in the benchmark Nikkei average.
(Reporting by Nathan Layne and Chang-Ran Kim; Editing by Hugh Lawson)