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Toyota May Be Mired in a Long-Term Slump

Despite product blitz maker faces slow recovery, warns analyst.

by on Oct.10, 2011

The launch of the new 2012 Camry will be critical for Toyota to reverse its current slump.

The next few months will be critical for Toyota.  The maker has finally gotten its global production network up to speed after a slowdown caused by Japan’s March 11 earthquake and tsunami. And with the launch of the new 2012 Camry, Toyota is setting in motion a major product blitz that will bring close to a dozen significant vehicles to market over the next year.

But that may not be enough to pull the maker out of the doldrums, warns a key industry analyst, who believes it could take years for the troubled maker to climb back after a series of problems that began with a series of embarrassing recalls in late 2010.

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“This could take several years, or at least one product cycle, to implement,” cautioned Peter Nesvold, an analyst with Jefferies & Co. in a presentation to investors.”

There’s little doubt Toyota has some series challenges ahead of it.  The maker recalled more than 10 million vehicles last year alone.  And while the majority were connected to concerns about so-called unintended acceleration, the maker also faced problems ranging from steering to braking and excess corrosion that could cause pieces of its minivans to fall off while driving.


September Auto Sales Surge – But Worries Remain

Japan’s Toyota, Honda still struggle despite hefty incentives.

by on Oct.03, 2011

Strong demand for the newest Beetle help drive a big month for Volkswagen.

New car sales defied dire economic news and grew in September with several car makers posting healthy sales gains, pushing the industry’s annualized sales rate to nearly 13 million units, the strongest it has been since the economy began showing signs of a double-dip recession.

But there were some worrisome notes amidst the overall bright picture.  The two leading Japanese makers bucked the upward trend again last month despite hefty increases in incentives. Overall, givebacks were up slightly, though some makers were able to cut spending on rebates and cut-rate loans in the face of strong market demand.

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“Auto sales continue to be one of the economy’s few bright spots,” said Robert Carter, Toyota Motor Sales vice president, who also predicted Toyota will start posting positive sales results in October after a long string in sales declines.

Toyota saw another 17.5% drop, year-over-year as the maker continued to struggle to overcome the impact of Japan’s devastating March 11 earthquake and tsunami.  Honda, meanwhile, saw its numbers fall 8% last month.  Both makers took sharp cuts in production due to supply issues but both Toyota and Honda say they are now back up and running at normal speeds.