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Toyota Expects to Sell 100,000 More Cars in 2014

Strong fundamentals, redesigned Camry make the difference.

by on Aug.15, 2014

Toyota Vice President Bob Carter told a crowd last night in New York that the maker will sell 100,000 more vehicles this year.

Toyota expects industry-wide vehicle sales to hit 16.3 million units, an increase of just over 5% and expects to sell 100,000 more units this year than it did in 2013, according to Bob Carter, Toyota Motor Sales senior vice president for automotive operations.

During a speech in New York, Carter noted the growth this year is slightly slower than the past few years, but is being driven by stronger economic and market conditions and a hangover pent-up demand from the recession.

Auto Insight!

Moreover, 400,000 more customers than last year are expected to come off leases from all brands and most will turn around and buy or lease a new vehicle, helping push sales higher, Carter added.

“Leases made up 20% of new-vehicle registrations in 2013 and that trend continues this year, setting up returning customers again two years or more down the road,” Carter said. “In addition, younger buyers are entering the market in bigger numbers.”

From 2009 to 2012, vehicle sales to those born after 1980, more than doubled to 2.5 million units

Sales to the same group increased another 20% the past two years and are expected to climb 10% this year to 3.5 million vehicles this year.

“Another key factor is historically low auto loan rates,” Carter said.

Thirty years ago interest rates hovered in the mid-to-high teens, but they’ve steadily receded to the 3 to 4% rates that prevail now. “Of course, rates may tick up again as the Fed eases the stimulus but we believe they’ll stay relatively low and affordable for most Americans,” he added.

So we have a lot of favorable signs but if you want “real proof” of consumer optimism and a stronger economy look at July sales.

“Last month, our industry sold more than 1.4 million vehicles, up 9% (and) the best July sales in eight years. It was the sixth consecutive month of year-over-year gains and the third straight month with sales of more than 1.4 million,” Carter noted in his bullish remarks to the J.P. Morgan Auto Conference.

Combined sales of Toyota, Scion and Lexus vehicles were even stronger, outpacing the overall industry. Collectively, the maker sold nearly 216,000 vehicles a jump of 11.6%, he said. It was an all-time record month for the RAV4 compact SUV with sales up 37%. Camry and the new Corolla also posted double-digit increases.

As a result, Camry remains the best-selling car in America and Corolla is the best-selling subcompact. With sales up nearly 19%, Lexus not only had a record July, it was the 10th straight month of year-over-year gains for the luxury brand.

“We’re firing on all cylinders and Toyota is in a great position to grow by 100,000 units to 2.3 million vehicles this year,” he said.

(Toyota produces second FT-1 concept sports car. For more, Click Here.)

In addition, Toyota has more new products in the pipeline. First out of the gate and on sale in just a few weeks the new 2015 Toyota Camry. For 16 of the past 17 years, including the last 12 in a row, Camry has been America’s best-selling car.

(Click Here for details about the record-setting Ferrari Berlinetta.)

“For 2015, the Camry has undergone the most extensive mid-cycle change in our company’s history, which includes a new good, grille, doors, trunk lid, front fenders, front and rear bumpers and headlights and taillights,” Carter said.

(To see more about how the Tesla Model X will impact the maker, Click Here.)

“I’m talking about a huge change. Together, they give Camry a fresh, more muscular look and an aggressive stance,” Carter added. “Underneath, we strengthened Camry’s chassis and added a newly tuned suspension that provides crisp but compliant handling.”

Toyota completely overhauled the interior with a new design and upgraded materials for an upscale look and feel, including a segment-first available wireless charging system for mobile phones.

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