Sales of Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM) autos last month in China, where the Japanese auto maker aims to double business by 2015, jumped 51.3 percent, according to reports.
The company sold about 66,800 cars in China in February, the Wall Street Journal cited a Toyota spokesman in Beijing as saying Thursday.
In January, Toyota's Chinese sales totaled about 58,700 vehicles, a 26.2 percent decrease from the same month last year, although January 2011 had more selling days because China's Lunar New Year holiday fell early in February.
Many Chinese celebrate the Lunar New Year for a full week, and this year's holiday was Jan. 23, decreasing Toyota's sales for the month.
Sales for the first two months of this year are up about 1.5 percent from the same period of 2011.
Toyota is seeking sales in China that exceed 1 million units in 2012. It introduced three new models last year and began manufacturing third-generation Priuses in December for sale early this year, Bloomberg News noted.
To help meet that goal, the company is boosting efforts in marketing and staffing in China. Toyota moved the headquarters of its Chinese operations from Japan to China and hired Changzheng Dong as a senior executive vice president of joint venture operations in the country.