The U.S. sales of Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. are near the pace they were at before the March 11 disaster in Japan after having returned to full production this month. According to the average estimate of 14 analysts that Bloomberg asked, the light vehicle sales in September that will be released on Oct. 3 will be increased to a 12.8 million seasonally adjusted annual rate.
This would be its fastest pace since April. The earthquake had led to a shortage of parts and finished cars, resulting to lost output. Jeff Schuster, executive director of global forecasting at J.D. Power & Associates, said that the recovery of the inventory levels has helped to bring buyers back to the market.
Jesse Toprak from TrueCar titled his report “What Recession?" as the auto recovery seems to contradict consumer confidence being at a two-year low, according to Bloomberg. Toyota predicts that it will be able to turn around the declines in its monthly U.S. sales starting next month. Meanwhile, Honda is adding overtime shifts at two Ohio plants. Improving the supply meant that incentives have increased from the lowest in nearly six years.
Researcher Autodata Corp. said that the declining sales of Toyota and Honda had contributed to the slowing of the U.S. auto sales pace from a 13.1 million rate averaged in the year's first four months to as low as 11.6 million in June.
Toyota had fallen behind Ford Motor Co. to third place in U.S. sales from the start of the year through August, the first month in the past year that its global production had climbed. Toyota is still in the recovery phase and its sales may decline by 15% to keep it in third place, according to the average estimate of five analysts that Bloomberg surveyed.