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BALL IN TOYOTA’S COURT FOR NEW MODEL MOMENTUM

Friday, February 11th, 2011
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Ball In Toyota's Court For New Model Momentum

Even though a federal study finds no evidence that electronic defects account for sudden acceleration in its vehicles, Toyota faces major hurdles restoring its image and market share. A host of new and revamped planned product introductions places the ball in Toyota’s court for revitalized Momentum.

“Customers are walking away with the perception that even though a Toyota is well built, they don’t see it as the next step in design, styling and innovative features,” said Alexander Edwards of Strategic Vision Inc., an automotive research and marketing consulting firm.

That’s a pretty strong customer perception statement and for the first time in years, Ford and Chevrolet brands are eating into Toyota market share and  in some cases, outselling Toyotas.

One example buyer who purchased an SUV last month rejected Toyota after test-driving several makes and models.

“I liked the people at Toyota the best, but the cars lagged a bit, both in styling and acceleration,” the buyer said. She also liked the interior of the SUV she purchased better.

Toyota’s share of the U.S. auto market fell to 15.2 percent last year from 17 percent in 2009. Continued momentum was of course hampered by the recall of millions of vehicles, the record payment of nearly $50 million in federal fines for failing to promptly inform regulators of defects in its vehicles and delaying recalls, and the endless government hearings. It was the only major automaker to log a sales decrease from 2009.

The company is responding with a flood of new products including a new Prius Wagon and new Camry and will launch a new advertising campaign this month that reminds consumers that it remains the top retail car brand in America, a Toyota Management spokesperson said, adding, “You are now going to see a relentless focus on our product.”

TOYOTA RAISING FORECASTS AS U.S. AUTO SALES RECOVER

Thursday, August 5th, 2010
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Toyota Motor Corp., the world’s largest carmaker, is raising its full-year profit forecast as sales in Asia are growing more than expected and demand in the U.S. recovers following the recall of more than 8 million vehicles.sales up

Toyota may post net income of  $3.98 billion in the year ending in March, compared with an earlier smaller estimate, it said in a statement today. For the fiscal first quarter, the company swung close to 2 billion profit from a year-earlier loss.

The automaker raised its sales outlook for all regions except Europe amid a rebound in demand that prompted rival Honda Motor Co. to also lift its earnings forecast last week.

“Toyota is now at a point where they feel comfortable giving good news,” said Yuuki Sakurai, chief executive officer of Fukoku Capital Management in Tokyo. “The recall issue has settled down in the U.S. and China.”

Toyota’s first-quarter sales gained 36 percent in North America, its biggest market. While deliveries fell 3.2 percent in July, the North American market may improve from the third quarter, Toyota’s Senior Managing Director Takahiko Ijichi said today.

Toyota raised its global vehicle sales forecast to 7.38 million units for the year ending in March 2011 from an earlier estimate of 7.29 million.

The company left its forecast for the yen against the dollar unchanged at 90 yen, 5 percent weaker than the rate of 85.52 as of 9:29 am in London. A stronger yen, which traded near an eight-month high against the U.S. dollar today, may erode profit gains by reducing the repatriated value of overseas sales.

Toyota is posting profit gains after the global recession hammered earnings a year earlier and after the recalls that began late last year.

The automaker, which said in July it added 1,000 engineers to an expanded quality assessment group, is extending vehicle development time by about four weeks on average and is opening new regional offices in the U.S. and Canada to more quickly investigate customer complaints.

While Toyota’s U.S. sales dropped in July, industrywide sales increased 5.2 percent. Hyundai, which introduced a revamped Sonata sedan in February, posted a 19 percent sales gain in the nation, and U.S.-based carmakers reported a combined sales increase of 5.5 percent for the month.

Toyota’s average incentives surged 44 percent to $2,235 per vehicle in the first quarter from a year earlier, the highest amount for the period since at least 2001, according to auto industry researcher Edmunds.com in Santa Monica, California.

“Recovery in North America is less than stellar,” said Naoki Fujiwara, a fund manager who helps oversee about $6 billion at Shinkin Asset Management Co. in Tokyo. “I’m worried that Toyota’s sales incentives in the U.S. are ballooning.”

The company has been cutting back on incentive spending in the U.S. since July and will continue to do so through the fiscal third quarter, Toyota’s Ijichi said today.

TOYOTA SALES APRIL 2010 UP AS HIGH AS 34%

Monday, May 3rd, 2010
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Car Sales for Toyota may have risen 34 percent, according to the average of five analysts while car sales for General Motors rose only approximately 7%. Toyota extended the no-interest loans and discount leases it offered at car dealerships through April.rising sales

The yearly rate of domestic car sales in April may be less than the 11.7 million seasonally adjusted annualized pace in March, when Toyota first offered its biggest car dealerships incentives to counter global recalls, spurring competitors to add discounts.

Toyota began offering incentives on March 2 such as subsidized leases after worldwide recalls of more than 8 million vehicles to fix defects linked to unintended acceleration and to adjust brakes. The company probably spent an average $2,416 on incentives on each vehicle last month, according to TrueCar.com.

One Car Dealership Owner who has a Toyota and a Buick, GMC and Cadillac dealership in Iowa, said Toyota sales were up 30 percent at his Toyota store and sales increased about 20 percent among his GM brands.

“Sales were really pretty good, but not quite as good as March,” the owner said, adding that sales may keep gaining this year. “We’re seeing a lot more car dealership showroom traffic and a lot more Internet activity.

TOYOTA FEBRUARY 2010 SALES DOWN ONLY 8.7% AFTER ALL THAT…

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010
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How badly did Toyota’s recalls and Media pounding impact its sales? Only 8.7% …and that was less than what even conservative industry analysts predicted as Toyota’s big sellers still sold.
 
Nearly every other automaker saw sharp sales increases, most likely at Toyota’a expense. Chrysler remained flat, selling a few hundred more vehicles than it did last February. Ford was the big winner, shooting up 43%. GM was up 11.5%, but that included its four defunct brands. The four remaining brands saw sales increase 32%.

Nissan sales were up 29.4%, and Honda was up 12.2%. Subaru and Kia had record-setting February sales, up 38% and up 9%, respectively. Luxury automakers also did well, with Audi, BMW and Mercedes all seeing sales increases of 33.6%, 13.7% and 8.4%, respectively.

How did the top 10 cars list shake out? The Toyota Corolla and Camry both moved up! The Corolla moved from No. 5 to No. 4, and the Camry moved from No. 7 to No. 5. What other cars could do that under such a bombastic pounding. The Honda Accord, took the No. 2 spot from the Chevy Silverado.  The Ford Fusion and Honda Civic also made gains at the expense of the Nissan Altima and Chevy Malibu. The full list is below.
1. Ford F-Series: 32,895
2. Honda Accord: 22,456 (including 2,432 Crosstours)
3. Chevy Silverado: 19,822
4. Toyota Corolla: 16,996
5. Toyota Camry: 16,552
6. Honda Civic: 16,471
7. Ford Fusion: 16,459
8. Nissan Altima: 16,198
9. Ford Escape: 15,156

A LITTLE HOUSE CLEANING OF TOYOTA NEWS AUGUST 2009

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009
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The Cash for Clunkers program was a big success for Toyota! That’s great Toyota News August 2009. The program generated 690,000 car sales, with Toyota accounting for 19.4 percent of all sales the U.S. Department of Transportation stated during the last week of August 2009.

The Toyota Corolla was the top seller under Cash for Clunkers, closely followed by Toyota Camry and Toyota Prius. Even recently retired Sen. Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) traded in his 1991 Chevrolet Suburban for a brand-new Toyota Prius, joking, “You don’t see a lot of Republicans driving a Prius.”

About 84 percent of participating consumers traded in trucks with 59% purchasing more fuel-efficient passenger cars such as Toyota Corolla. More great Toyota News August 2009.

You may have heard that Toyota is recalling about 95,700 Toyota and Scion models in 19 Cold-Weather States because of a possible brake problem. Those models covered are some 2009 and 2010 Corolla and Matrix models as well as some 2008 and 2009 Scion XD models with the 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine.

Toyota told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that at “extremely low ambient temperatures”, around -22 degrees F. and lower,  it is possible the brakes could lose their power-assist which would “lead to lengthened vehicle stopping distances.”

The States covered in this recall are Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, Wisconsin, and Wyoming…. 

In a announcement of a different matter and direction, Toyota Motor said Monday it was developing Anti-Drunk Driving Equipment that would lock the ignition of a vehicle if high levels of alcohol are detected in the driver. This Next Generation Ignition Interlock System is very difficult for Drunk Drivers to Fool!
The system features a hand-held breathalyser, equipped with a digital camera, that detects alcohol consumption and photographs the driver’s face for identification, a company statement said.

If the driver tests positive, the system either warns him or her, or locks the vehicle’s ignition depending on the level of alcohol detected, Toyota said.

The carmaker is conducting tests with affiliate truck maker Hino Motors, and will install the equipment in selected trucks and other vehicles of fleet customers that include companies and government organizations.

The device will alert fleet administrators if the driver is detected with excessive alcohol levels, Toyota said.

Stay-Tuned for New 2010 Introductions, New Features, and an All New 2010 4Runner!…