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US Car Market Boom Likely to Continue, Forecasts Senior Toyota Exec

But sales may not set new record, cautions Carter.

by on Sep.05, 2013

Toyota's Camry outpaced the already strong surge of the US car market last month.

August’s strong automotive sales surge seems to have taken everyone by surprise, including top managers at Toyota — demand for the Japanese maker’s Toyota, Lexus and Scion branded products jumping nearly 23% last month as the U.S. market reached its highest level in at least six years.

A variety of factors seem to be drawing buyers back to showrooms, suggested Bob Carter, senior vice president of automotive operations for Toyota Motor Sales, USA. But one stands out, “Consumer confidence,” he said succinctly. “People are feeling good,” and are increasingly willing to open up their pocketbooks again.

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Industry analysts and observers have been steadily raising their forecasts for 2013 and beyond, and Toyota is no exception. After the worst industry downturn in decades, demand is likely to top 15.5 million this year, and could nudge into 16 million territory in 2014. But how high is up? Speaking to the Detroit Automotive Press Association, Carter noted some forecasters anticipate near-record numbers of 17 million by as early as 2018.


Toyota’s Carter Concedes Automaker “Made a Couple of Mistakes”

Challenge is to focus on safety and “get that credibility back.”

by on Feb.10, 2010

Mistakes were made, but Toyota is working to fix safety problems and regain credibility, says Group Vice President Bob Carter.

Though the company hasn’t intentionally set out to cover up or otherwise hide problems with its vehicles, there’s no question Toyota has “made a couple mistakes,” Group Vice President Bob Carter acknowledged during an exclusive interview with

The automaker has been besieged since, last month in the mainstream media when  it announced a second recall for so-called “unintended acceleration” caused by potentially sticky accelerators.

The situation grew worse, just this week, with its decision to recall 440,000 Prius hybrids, worldwide, due to a braking problem first identified by editor Ken Zino of back in December, and which Toyota initially denied.

(Prius owners with complaints should report them to the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 or, and Toyota at 800-331-433. Have your VIN number in front of you when you call. )

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Those and some other problems have raised concerns about Toyota’s products and policies, tarnishing a seemingly bullet-proof reputation that it honed over the 50 years since it first entered the American marketplace.


Toyota Planning $1 Billion Marketing Blitz

Japanese maker hopes to gain momentum as market recovers, and overcome recent setbacks.

by on Nov.02, 2009

Toyota will invest over $1 billion in a fourth-quarter marketing blitz, said division bost Bob Carter, to take advantage of recovering U.S. auto sales -- and to try to overcome recent setbacks to its image.

Toyota will invest over $1 billion in a fourth-quarter marketing blitz, said division bost Bob Carter, to take advantage of recovering U.S. auto sales -- and to try to overcome recent setbacks to its image.

Millions of Toyota customers will receive notice of a massive recall, this week, the result of a problem with driver floor mats that can come loose and jam the accelerator pedal.  But a senior Toyota executive, speaking to journalists during a Detroit luncheon, Monday, stressed federal regulators have ruled out the possibility that the company’s products could also face sudden problems with their electronic engine control systems.

During a blunt and wide-ranging conversation, Bob Carter, head of the powerful Toyota division, in the U.S., acknowledged that the Japanese maker has been facing an unexpected assortment of problems, in recent months, from quality snafus to recalls to slumping sales.

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But Carter said the company is ready to “go on the offensive,” and confirmed Toyota Motor Sales USA – which also represents the Lexus and Scion brands — will spend a record $1 billion on marketing and advertising efforts during the fourth quarter of the year.