Toyota: Recall cost 20,000 sales in January

Toyota’s recall of 2.3 million vehicles cost its dealers 20,000 sales in January, according to Toyota Division General Manager Bob Carter. Carter said that Toyota’s January sales, including Scion, fell 19 percent from January 2009 to 83,279 vehicles, compared to 102,565 the same period a year ago. Lexus sales were up 5 percent in January to 15,517 units.

Carter told reporters that Toyota’s January numbers came in 23 percent below the brand”s own internal forecasts for the month. He said that halting sales of eight key models in the U.S. made it difficult for Toyota to interpret month-end results.

Carter said that he has been talking to dealers in the past few days as the Japanese automaker deals with faulty gas pedal being responsible for unintended acceleration.

“Dealers are telling me consistently there is minimal to no effect on our business,” Carter said. “Most of our consumers are confident in the brand, and many of them are just delaying their purchases if they”re in the market.”

– By: Omar Rana

Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)