Toyota is certainly down but, at least for now, not quite out. Despite having to idle factories and suspend sales of eight of its top selling models due to complaints of unintended acceleration, the Japanese auto giant has not seen the cataclysmic drop in sales some expected.
Toyota Motor Corp. sales fell to a level not seen since 1998 last month amid a dramatic realignment of automakers in the U.S. market that saw Ford Motor Co. reclaim the No. 2 spot and Chrysler Group LLC drop to No. 6.
General Motors Co. remained the nation’s largest automaker, with sales up 14.1 percent, and claimed 21 percent of the market, up from 19.5 percent in January 2009.
But even as sales increased 6.3 percent industrywide from a year ago, with much of that coming from fleet sales, demand for Toyota products, including Lexus and Scion models, fell 15.8 percent for the same period.
(via The Detroit News)
Excluding the sale of Lexus and Scion vehicles (models which have, so far, not been affected by the gas pedal recall announced on January 21, 2010) Toyota sales plunged 18.8 percent. While that news is bad enough, it’s a far cry from the doomsday reports from some analysts that Toyota sales would drop by as much as 75 percent.
Other car makers are seeking to take advantage of Toyota’s current weakness, by offering cash back and rebates to any customer trading in a Toyota vehicle (even those vehicles not subject to the recall). General Motors, Ford, Chrysler and Hyundai are now offering up to $1000 worth of incentives to lure Toyota owners.