Toyota Motor Sales is aiming to increase its deliveries in 2014 in the United States by 100,000 units to 2.3 million light vehicles as the country’s economy improves, according to chief executive Jim Lentz during the Society of Automotive Analysts Outlook Conference. He said that industry-wide auto sales will continue to improve this year, driven more by wider gains in the US economy and less by pent-up demand.
He noted that US economic growth is accelerating and might reach 3 percent for the full year 2014. "A big boost in GDP, more jobs and more new homes paint a rosy picture for consumers in 2014 and should lead to increased household wealth," Lentz said.
Toyota Motor Sales deliveries of Toyota, Lexus and Scion models jumped 7 percent last year to 2.236 million units. According to Lentz, Toyota Financial Services is a strategic asset because the captive finance arm’s high credit rating allows it to borrow money cheaper than rivals.
"That allows our dealers to offer low interest rates, make more loans and offer more aggressive lease rates to attract new and younger customers," he pointed out. Lentz also vowed that Toyota will offer a hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle in the US by 2015.
"I'm convinced hydrogen is a fuel of the future," he said, noting that it competes with other advanced fuels. He, however, said that the problem now is that no one knows which technology that consumers will embrace, so it is only prudent to have “your toe in the water in all technologies."
Lentz remarked that Toyota would not just meet but beat more stringent US fuel-economy standards by the interim 2025 deadlines. [source: automotive news - sub. required]