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Toyota sees modest gains as car market starts recovery in Europe

GENEVA--Toyota Europe expects to sell 865,000 units this year and increase its market share to 4.8 percent as the European car market enters what is expected to be a slow recovery from six years of contraction.

Didier Leroy the head of Toyota Europe told reporters Monday that hybrid cars have been attracting new customers with the addition of the smaller Yaris hybrid and sportier Auris, beyond the original Prius models.

Hybrids accounted for 20 percent of Toyota Europe's 847,500 sales in 2013, for a 4.7 percent market share. That's up from 12 percent of 2012 sales of 838,000.

Leroy targets sales of 1 million by 2015 in the region, which comprises 56 European markets extending east into Russia, but he said he will not sacrifice profits to hit that target.

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