News / USA

Decline in Toyota Sales Gives Rivals Boost

Prius, the 3rd, Generation.
Prius, the 3rd, Generation.

Multimedia

U.S. sales of Toyota vehicles declined nearly 9 percent in February, the first full month since the Japanese automaker suspended sales and recalled 8.5 million cars for accelerator problems.  Although the concerns about the safety of Toyota's vehicles are likely to benefit Toyota's rivals, analysts say when the dust finally settles, Toyota, the world's largest automaker is likely to remain just that.

Despite one of the largest auto recalls in history, several congressional hearings, and more than 50 accidental deaths linked to sudden acceleration - Toyota still managed to beat sales expectations.

Jessica Caldwell is senior analyst at online auto advisor, Edmunds.com:

"The truth of the matter is, they're still the third largest automaker in terms of volume in the United States," said Jessica Caldwell.

Instead of the double digit declines many were expecting, Toyota sold more than 100,000 vehicles in the U.S. last month, only about nine thousand fewer than for the same period last year.

But with pent-up demand expected to boost worldwide sales in 2010, Toyota's problems have been a boon for rivals.  

U.S.-based Ford saw a 43 percent surge in February.

"As soon as the news about the recall hit, we saw a lot of interest in Ford, which isn't necessarily a natural competitor for Toyota," she said. "I would say that the other two big winners were Honda, obviously, that's Toyota's natural competitor and also Hyundai, the Korean automaker that has done a lot in the past year and has really benefited from Toyota's misstep."

"This is as bad as it gets for an auto company," said Clarence Ditlow.

Auto safety expert Clarence Ditlow says Toyota's missteps have been costly because it waited too long to act.

"It's not a lost cause but its an uphill battle," he said. "Toyota has to bat a thousand [be perfect] for the next year."
 
While many questions remain about the exact cause of the acceleration problems that led to worldwide recalls, Caldwell expects Toyota sales will rebound.

She says the Japanese automaker has already launched an aggressive campaign to regain lost business.  

It is also positioning itself to play a larger role in China.

"I think everyone is clamoring for dominance in China so I think everyone sees that as really a crucial market, the next big market out there," said Caldwell. "So of course whatever happens in China is really going to affect what these automakers do on a global scale."

Total vehicle sales in China soared 45 percent last year, overtaking the U.S. as the world's biggest auto market.

Although Toyota hopes to expand sales in China to 800,000 vehicles this year, it continues to lag behind the competition.  

General Motors, for example, sold nearly two million vehicles in China last year.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid