While demand for fuel-efficient compact cars and hybrids is on a rapid rise, Toyota is struggling to meet demand due to shortages of popular models such as the Prius hybrid and the Corolla. Toyota’s car sales fell 9.4 percent in June. On the other hand, rival Honda reported a 13.8 percent gain in overall U.S. sales mainly due to a record demand of the Honda Fit and the Civic Sedan.
Toyota’s Prius, the top-selling hybrid in the U.S., fell 26 percent as dealers struggled to have the vehicle available in their inventory and customers faced a six-moth waiting list. Toyota hopes to satisfy that demand with its new dedicated Prius factory in Japan this year.
“It is very doubtful that there is going to be a lot of recovery this year to be able to satisfy consumer demand and that is very unfortunate,” said Jim Lentz, Toyota’s head of North American sales, referring to the Prius.
Inventory of the Toyota Corolla was also down to a 15-day supply while the Yaris was down to a 7-day supply at the end of June. Toyota said its expects Yaris and Corolla inventories to increase in August.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)