Amid the persistence of recall woes, sales of Toyota Motor Corp. dropped further in July but despite that, it has boosted its North American sales forecast. For the fiscal year that ends March 31, 2011, Toyota now expects for sales to reach 2.17 million vehicles in North America. Its previous forecast had been for sales of 2.13 million units.
The new forecast would stand for a 3% increase over last year's sales of 2.098 million units. Toyota announced its optimistic outlook on Aug. 4, as it also disclosed its return to profit in the quarter that ended June 30, with operating income of €211.6 billion, or $2.39 billion.
A year earlier, it had fallen to an operating loss of €194.9 billion, or $2.2 billion, a year earlier.Contributing to these results is the 36% increase in North American sales, to 526,000 units, in the April-June period.
Toyota expects that the upward movement in its largest market will continue. Takahiko Ijichi, Toyota's senior managing director, said that the company revised its outlook in North America to reflect its recent sales performance.
Meanwhile, Toyota's US sales dropped by 3% to 169,224 units in July, while its market share narrowed to 16.1% from 17.5% a year earlier. Despite the recalls, overall US sales went up by 8% for the year.
In addition, July market share was up from 14.3% in June. Toyota's recovery has been gradual after having posted its first operating loss in seven decades in light of the largest dent to its reputation in quality. Since last fall, Toyota has recalled 11.2 million cars worldwide. Just last month, Toyota recalled 412,000 high-end passenger cars in the US to repair steering problems.