Plagued with recalls, Toyota Motor Corp reported a 9% drop in U.S. sales for February. But contrary to popular expectation, the other automakers didn”t gain as much market-share as expected. FoMoCo, which posted a strong month to launch ahead of GM and Toyota to take the top spot in the U.S. market, doesn”t attribute much of their growth to Toyota”s problems.
Although industry-wide sales rose 13% from one year ago, it is largely attributed to fleet sales as there were many forces keeping consumers out of showrooms. FoMoCo VP Ken Czubay believes that many traditional Toyota customers sat on the sidelines instead of purchasing elsewhere.
With sales down all across the Toyota lineup, there was not much loss of existing customers according to one exec. It is believed that many customers simply delayed purchase so that they may see what incentive deals Toyota will be offering to retain customers.
While GM didn”t immediately have any estimates ready as to the effect the Toyota issue has had on their numbers, they did not show the growth that Ford did, and attribute a weak February to the snow storms that hit the Northeast for much of the month.
– By: Stephen Calogera