Like its American rivals, Toyota now sells more trucks than passenger cars in the U.S. market.
Half-empty or half-full, Toyota’s performance in the U.S. market last month all depends on your point of view.
The maker reported what were unarguably its best sales numbers in five months during September, a 16.8% increase, prompting Group Vice President Bob Carter to proclaim, “Sales, in fact, were so strong during Labor Day, it felt like 2006 again.”
But after a year-long crisis that has undermined consumer confidence in the Toyota brand, the sales numbers for the current year indicate the Japanese auto giant has suffered some serious and potentially long-lasting damage.
While the sales improvement in September was certainly a bright spot, Toyota’s increase was notably smaller than those posted by several key competitors, including Ford Motor Co., Hyundai, Honda, Nissan and even Chrysler as the overall seasonally adjusted annual rate, or SAAR, for the U.S. market increased to 11.8 million units.
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Strong sales of the RAV4 , 4Runner Highlander sport- utility vehicles, Sienna minivans, Prius hybrids and Tacoma pickup trucks gave Toyota a boost during September, the company said.