The tsunami crisis in Japan has bottomed out in July for American Honda Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. as they lost 6.9 points of market share to their Korean and Detroit rivals compared to the previous year. In a flat market, Honda and Toyota suffered much in July. However, they are beginning to restock U.S. dealerships, and August should be better for both companies marginally.
Don Johnson, U.S. sales boss of General Motors, commented that more Hondas and Toyotas available will bring more buyers back into a still-fragile market.
He added that many of the brand-loyal customers have opted to wait for the selection and price to improve. Sales increased a tepid 0.9 percent to 1.1 million light units in July, which is the third straight lackluster month after eight months of double-digit growth.
While Honda and Toyota hit the bottom with a combined 19.9 percent July share, the combined share of the Detroit 3 increased 3.9 percentage points from July 2010 to 47.6 percent.
On the other hand, Hyundai and Kia gained 1.4 points from the same period last year, to a combined 9.9 percent share. Sales dropped 28 percent for American Honda, which had a 28-day stock of vehicle units at the end of the month. Toyota Motor Sales declined 23 percent, with a 34-day supply on August 1. For Subaru of America, sales dropped 9 percent.
It was also affected by the quake. At the end of July, it had a 19-day supply. However, for the Japanese, supplies are leaning towards normal levels.
Toyota is boosting output in Japan and it now intends to run its factories in North America overtime to rebuild dealer inventories. Ray Tanguay, who is the head of Toyota's North American manufacturing operations, commented that the factories will operate at 110 percent of capacity through September.