Toyota expects US market share to reach over 15% in 2013

Article by Anita Panait, on November 16, 2012

Toyota Motor Sales is expecting its market share in the United States to rise to over 15 percent in 2013, when the carmaker rolls out a number of redesigned vehicles. Toyota is currently in the process of recovering its US market share, which dropped sharply after experiencing inventory shortages due to the earthquake and tsunami disasters that hit Japan in March 2011.

Toyota was able to regain its post as the best retail brand in the US in March 2012. Bob Carter, Toyota’s senior vice president of automotive operations, remarked that the carmaker was able to recover well ahead of plan. The Toyota, Lexus and Scion brands combined held a 14.4-percent market share in the US for the first 10 months of 2012, compared with a 12.6-percent share for the same period in 2011. Toyota’s unit sales in the US have jumped 30 percent to 1.7 million this year.

The Japanese carmaker reached its peak market share in the US in 2009 at 17 percent, which then dropped to 15.2 percent in 2010.

Toyota’s US market share further deteriorated in 2011 to 12.9 percent. Toyota will roll out redesigned Avalon and Avalon Hybrid full-sized sedans in December 2012, to be followed next year by redesigned RAV4 and Highlander crossovers, Tundra full-sized pickup and Corolla compact sedan.

Toyota is also planning a mid-cycle update for its 4Runner. Carter quipped that with the upcoming products, the carmaker’s volume will increase as well as its market share.

Carter did not disclose a definite market share target in 2012, but said that Toyota will achieve over 15 percent. The six outgoing car and light-truck models are on track to post sales of around 760,000 in 2012. The same models accounted for sales of 1.03 million units in 2007, albeit in a larger market.

According to Carter, Toyota would not repeat its short-time increase in fleet sales earlier in 2012. The carmaker told fleet buyers in 2011 that they would have to wait until 2012 for its inventory to regain normal levels, with retail buyers in priority. That, however, resulted to fleet sales accounting for 15 percent of total deliveries in the first quarter of 2012.

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