Toyota, Honda expect stronger US sales performance in 2013

Article by Anita Panait, on January 15, 2013

Japanese carmakers are confident of posting better sales in the United States in 2013, as they see some advantageous developments – including the weakening yen and product launch cycles -- to occur this year. Toyota Motor Corp. expects to post its biggest sales performance in the US since 2008, Jim Lentz, president and chief executive of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. told Reuters.

Toyota is expecting to sell around 2.2 million vehicles in 2013, equivalent to a 6-percent growth. Toyota is certain to regain the throne as the top-selling carmaker in the world in 2012, after projecting its global sales to reach 9.7 million vehicles in the year. Toyota is followed by US carmaker General Motors with 9.28 million vehicle sales, and German auto company Volkswagen AG with 9.07 million vehicle sales.

Honda Motor Co. likewise is optimistic about its sales prospects in the US this year, targeting to surpass its record sales of 1.55 million vehicles posted in 2007, according to Executive Vice President Tetsuo Iwamura.

The carmaker is banking on the strong demand for its key models -- like the redesigned Accord sedan that was rolled out in the US in September 2012 -- to expand in the country and neighboring markets, Honda chief executive Takanobu Ito said.

He remarked that 2013 is a good time for Honda to enhance its presence in North America. Japanese carmakers sold of over 5.3 million vehicles combined in the US in 2012, signifying a 20-percent increase over 2011. The carmakers have a combined market share of 36.9 percent, after increasing it by 2 percentage points.

For the 2013 model year, Toyota said that it drastically changed the Avalon’s formula. This resulted in a sedan that is persuasive while being powerful. Through this, the brand will able to change the generational appeal of the product and at the same time reveal the new design and the direction for Toyota’s future sedans. The 2013 Toyota Avalon combines a higher level of craftsmanship with innovation and a passionate styling.

Toyota hopes that this latest offering will reposition it within the mid-size premium segment, a highly competitive class. Avalon Chief Engineer Randy Stephens shared that the main goal of the new Avalon is to show everyone that Toyota is indeed back. It is expected to be at the top when it compares to the best level of technologies, with its exceptional handling performance, and great style, he continued.

Meanwhile Toyota Division General Manager and Group Vice-President Bill Fay said that the 2013 Avalon displays the car-building ability of the bran mixed with that Avalon badge. This result in refinement, dynamic capability, and take excitement to new heights, he continued. He added that the design was put forward by Calty Design Research, which has facilities in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Newport Beach, California.

The engineering expertise meanwhile was from the Toyota Technical Center-Ann Arbor, he continued. Indeed, the Avalon is able to improve the product through the use of in-market car-building resources. What this means is that Toyota will not only be able to make a world-class sedan but in addition, make a strong statement.

Topics: toyota, honda, sales

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