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Toyota Sales Off 16% in January

Japanese maker, with quality and unintended acceleration problems, sees volume under 100,000 for first time since 1999.

by on Feb.02, 2010

One month does not a year make, but Camry dropped significantly.

Toyota Motor Sales said total January sales for all brands were 98,796 vehicles in total, a decrease of 9% compared with last January, on a daily selling rate basis.

It was the first time monthly sales were below 100,000 units since 1999.

On January 26, TMS suspended sales of the eight Toyota models involved in the accelerator pedal recall, impacting the Division’s January sales. The eight models represented more than 60% of Toyota inventory at the time.

In terms of volume cars, the Toyota Camry took the biggest hit – off about 5,000 units for the month.

This is the first month in our view where Toyota sales were clearly negatively affected by ongoing controversies over quality and unintended acceleration problems that attracted large media attention with the now infamous floor mat recall of  last fall.

Deadly floor mats were joined this January by the sticking pedal recall. Between both of them more than 5 million vehicles are involved in the U.S., and millions more are affected globally.  Repairs will take months, if not the balance of the year or longer,  to complete.

It is unclear if this is just a temporary decrease in Toyota sales or the beginning of longer trend. One month is too short a period in the current volatile environment. A better gauge will be quarterly data, which  will be available in early April.

Here are the absolute numbers at the current time. Chart follows.  (more…)