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Exchange Rates Drive Toyota’s Profits to a New Record

Currency shifts, cost cuts overcome sales slide.

by on Aug.04, 2015

Sales of the recently redesigned Camry helped Toyota boost sales in North America.

Toyota Motor Co. reported net profits of 646.3 billion yen, or $5.2 billion, for the April-June quarter, a 10% increase, and the maker’s third consecutive record for the quarter. But the numbers barely concealed some fundamental problems facing the Japanese giant.

Worldwide sales were down by almost 6% for the first quarter of the Japanese fiscal year, to 2.1 million, with the maker facing a number of problems across Asia. As a result, Toyota lost its global sales crown for the first half of 2015 to Germany’s Volkswagen AG.

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The sales decline was “a result of weaker sales in Japan,” and emerging markets like China and India, “despite stronger sales in North America,” said Tetsuya Otake, managing officer of Toyota, during a telephone news briefing.

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2010 Car Sales End on a High Note

Most makers score gains but Toyota again posts decline.

by on Jan.04, 2011

Ford gains ground in import-friendly California with the new Fiesta.

Car sales finished 2010 on a high note with virtually every manufacturer posting sales increases, and with the seasonally adjusted annual rate of car sales, or SAAR, coming in at a year-high 13.3 million.

The unofficial sales tally for 2010 was over 11.5 million units, with the year finishing stronger than anticipated as recently as 90 days ago, according to Ford sales analyst George Pipas.

The December and year-end sales data also confirmed that General Motors, Ford Motor Co. , Chrysler, Hyundai and Kia had made deep inroads into territory once dominated by Toyota, which saw its sales slip by 5% in December as it finished the year with a small decline in sales.

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The domestic brands all posted double-digit sales increases for the month and for the year, while both Korean brands set sales records and Volkswagen AG, which has struggled for years to figure out the U.S. market enjoyed its best sales since 2003.

Smaller Japanese brands such as Mazda also finished the year with solid sales gains and, in Subaru’s case yet another record.  Honda and Nissan also posted increases for the month and the year. Sales by BMW, Audi and Mercedes Benz also increased during 2010.

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Subaru, Audi Set Records As November Sales Surge

Toyota reports the rare dip in volume despite hefty incentives.

by on Dec.02, 2010

Demand for products like the 2011 Impreza WRX have helped Subaru set another U.S. sales record.

Subaru set an annual all-time sales record last month as the industry-wide sales rate surpassed the 12 million unit level during November.

But the Japanese automaker isn’t the only celebrating what was the best month for the auto industry since the short-lived, government-funded Cash for Clunkers program.  Audi, for one, had its best November ever.  And, with the rare exception of Toyota, all the major domestic, Asian and European automakers came out of November with newfound momentum.

“We have a formula that works,” said Timothy M. Colbeck, senior vice president of sales, Subaru of America, Inc.  So far this year, Subaru sales are up 22% to a record 237,126 units.

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“Our vehicles are right-sized, come with all-wheel-drive standard, and are known for safety, reliability, fuel economy and spirited driving. Add into that mix excellent value for money and it’s clear why we are seeing sustained demand for our brand,” said Subaru’s Colbeck.

Meanwhile, champagne was being chilled at Audi’s U.S. headquarters in suburban Washington, D.C.  The maker reported its eighth monthly record for 2010, and seems certain, for the first time, to push past the 100,000 sales mark.

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Toyota Takes Another Hit With November Sales

Hefty incentives, free maintenance and new safety campaign fail to reverse slump.

by on Dec.01, 2010

Even the Prius saw sales slide, with incentives needed to keep the hybrid's metal moving out showroom doors.

It was a good month for the U.S. auto industry – most of the industry, anyway, but despite a mighty push to overcome its ongoing safety problems, Toyota bucked the market trend by posting a 3.2% sales decline for November.  Adjusted to a daily sales basis, the decline, the maker noted, was 7.3%

The Japanese giant, long the industry benchmark, was clearly unable to keep up with the competition during a month when Detroit’s long-troubled makers all posted double-digit gains.  In fact, other than Toyota, it was hard to find any brand that didn’t report a solid month, Nissan up 45%, year-over-year, and Audi reporting an all-time record for November, which could help the German brand push past the 100,000 sales mark for the first time ever in the U.S.

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The poor showing was particularly troubling for Toyota which, in October, was the only major automaker to report a decline – of 4%.

What’s going wrong?  “Without new product to compete with and stripped of its bulletproof quality reputation, Toyota is forced to sell on the deal,” Edmunds analyst Jessica Caldwell said in a statement.

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Sales Up – Incentives Down For October

Industry scores best month of 2010.

by on Nov.03, 2010

With two months to go, Subaru is within a few 100 units of beating its all-time U.S. sales record.

Auto sales ticked upwards in October even while carmakers generally scaled back on the hefty incentives that have slashed industry earnings – plunging some brands deeply into the red – over the last few years.

Overall  the auto industry enjoyed its best month in two years – discounting the brief impact of last year’s Cash for Clunkers program — and Ford Motor Co., General Motors, Chrysler, Nissan, Honda, Volkswagen, Hyundai and Kia all reported double-digit increases.  Among the major brands, only Toyota suffered a setback, its sales dropping 4%.

(The industry will find it difficult to reach the 17 million peak of years past, TheDetroitBureau.com reports. Click Here.)

“In October there was more merchandising,” noted Ken Czubay, Ford vice president of sales.  “I was happy to see consumers were responding to merchandising rather than incentives,” he said.

Total sales for the Ford, Lincoln and soon-to-be-discontinued Mercury brands totaled 157,935, up 19% versus year ago. The MKZ hybrid also made solid gains in the market as it succeeded in winning over buyers from other brands, Czubay said.

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The new Fiesta subcompact posted its best sales month ever, particularly on the West Coast, where demand has been particularly brisk – despite that market’s traditional reluctance to embrace domestic products. The 2011 Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX crossovers, with MyFordTouch and MyLincolnTouch technology, also have gotten off to a strong start.

There had been some concern that Ford and Chrysler would fall short of year-earlier numbers, but Chrysler Group LLC also reported, a 37% increase, and October marked the seventh consecutive month of year-over-year sales increases for the troubled maker.

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