As Toyota Motor Corp.’s production recovers and as Camry deliveries continue to grow, the automaker expects to begin reversing the decline in U.S. sales that is the result of the earthquake in Japan.
In an interview, Bob Carter, group vice president for U.S. sales, said that wholesale orders for Toyota brand cars and trucks have normalized this month. He also said that vehicle inventory is growing. The last month that Toyota’s monthly sales had increased was last April.
Toyota’s market share in the U.S. through August dropped from 15.2% to 12.7%. Carter said that Toyota will have year-over-year retail increases beginning this October, according to Autonews.
He said that Toyota is focused on selling to individual buyers instead of business and rental fleets. He explained that Toyota has basically closed down its fleet business.
Last week, Toyota was able to resume full production at its assembly plants in North America. He said that most of the plants will be adding overtime shifts.
Production temporarily stopped after the earthquake in Japan but output was slow in normalizing since the disaster resulted in parts shortages and power disruptions.
The supplies of Japan-built Prius hybrids and luxury Lexus models had been cut. This had an impact on Toyota’s U.S. sales, falling 7.8% this year through August. Meanwhile, industrywide deliveries increased by 10.5%.