Toyota suffers 4.4% drop in October US sales

Toyota Motor Corp.’s  U.S. auto sales fell 4.4% in October as a decline for car sales more than offset growth for light trucks and sport-utility vehicles.

The company was the first major auto maker to report lower October sales on Wednesday, after the Detroit Three and rival Honda Motor Co. all reported increases. Growth was strongest at Chrysler Group LLC and Ford Motor Co. , which reported sales jumped 37% and 19%, respectively.

But Toyota joined those companies in reporting higher sales of trucks and other large vehicles. Impressive growth for those vehicles has been seen for months.

The world’s largest car maker by sales volume reported it sold 145,474 vehicles in the U.S. last month, down from 152,165 a year earlier and falling 1.1% from September. Toyota division sales were down 6.2%, while the luxury brand Lexus reported a 8.1% increase. Total car sales fell 17%, while truck sales improved 17% and sales of sports-utility vehicles grew 27%.

October had 27 selling days, one fewer than a year ago.

The month’s decline puts Toyota’s year-to-date sales growth in the U.S. at a scant 0.6%, well below other major auto makers.

Toyota was snagged in a massive recall of more than 8.5 million vehicles earlier this year, and faced difficult challenges to regain its reputation for quality. The company last month announced three separate recalls of a combined 1.5 million vehicles, including 740,000 in the U.S., on concerns that brake-fluid leaks eventually could hinder brake performance.

The company’s American depositary shares were up 6 cents to $70.29 in recent trading. They are down 16% this year.
Source: WSJ

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