Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc. logged a 16-percent increase gain in October 2012 even as it sustained substantial damage at its New Jersey port facility and at about 15 dealerships caused by Hurricane Sandy. Bill Fay, Toyota Division general manager, disclosed in a conference call that around 4,000 Toyota vehicles stored near the port were damaged by Hurricane Sandy and around 15 dealers remained without power.
Toyota has yet to confirm if the sales of the affected dealers in October will be recorded in November. Toyota also has yet to confirm if the affected dealers used other dealers' reporting systems to input their final numbers. Fay remarked that most of Toyota’s dealers in the Northeast corridor are quickly resuming full operations, adding that there were no reports of serious injuries to Toyota or dealer associates.
From May to September 2012, Toyota's monthly sales increases averaged 52 percent as the carmaker rallied back from its 2011 flop due to natural disasters in Asia. In October 2012, however, Toyota only managed to post a 16-percent increase in sales, short of the 18 percent to 20 percent forecast by Fay last week.
Toyota continued to regain market share as the overall auto industry only posted a 7-percent hike in sales in October. For the first 10 months of 2012, Toyota controlled 14.4 percent of the US market -- up by 1.8 percent points from the same the period in 2011. Toyota Division posted a 17-percent hike in US sales in October 2012 to 135,392 units while the carmaker’s Lexus logged a 10-percent jump to 19,850 units.
Toyota also posted a 36-percent increase in sales of its Camry model, selling nearly 30,000 Camrys. Toyota hybrid sales soared 75 percent in October 2012, as hybrid parts were in short supply after a strong earthquake shook Japan in March 2011.
Despite the increase in sales of Toyota cars, the carmaker’s minivan and crossover failed to perform as expected due to higher gasoline prices, lower inventories and reduced incentive spending on those lines, Fay quipped. As for the situation following Hurricane Sandy, Fay said they expect continued stability in the marketplace but it may take a few months to recover lost business. Fay said they are expecting a consistent strong pace for November and December.