Honda, Toyota Rebounding from 2011 Sales Declines

Although largely panned by the automotive press, Civics are a sales leader for Honda.

Although largely panned by the automotive press, new Civics are selling for Honda. (honda.com)

2011 was a year Japanese automakers Honda and Toyota were likely glad to see end and would love to forget. Both companies saw their fortunes decline throughout 2011, thanks in part to supply problems and production constraints resulting from the tsunami that rocked Japan earlier in the year.

The two Japanese stalwarts sold fewer cars in 2011 than they did in 2010. And while some analysts predicted there would be no way for the two automakers to gain back the loss in market share in 2012, both Honda and Toyota had a much different result in January 2012 than they experienced a year earlier.

New car sales were up in January for almost every automaker, although GM did see a significant decline. Overall, sales were up 11 percent from a year ago, which is the fastest pace manufacturers have seen in four years. If the momentum of January lasts throughout the year, consumers will purchase more than 14 million new cars and trucks during 2012.

Toyota went from being the top automaker to fourth place in 2011, suffering huge sales declines throughout the span of the year. Toyota’s January sales numbers were up 7.5 percent over a year ago. Much of Toyota’s gains came from demand for their Camry, which has been the top selling car in the United States for 14 of the last 15 years. Toyota also saw its hybrid models moving in larger quantities, with a 9 percent gain for the Prius alone.

Honda posted an even larger 9 percent gain, mostly on increases in the Civic. Honda sold 83,009 vehicles, up from 76,269 in January 2011. Honda was perhaps the hardest hit by the natural disasters in Asia over the last 12 months.

With added pressure coming from a reinvigorated big three, global power Volkswagen and its goal of surpassing GM as the world’s top automaker, and even threats from up and coming Korean automakers Hyundai and Kia, it’ll be interesting to see if Toyota and Honda can make the upswing in January a trend that lasts throughout the year.


About Cecil Helton

Cecil Helton Cecil Helton is a U.S.-based writer and editor with passions for cars, motorcycles, boats, technology and social media. Much of his professional life since 1996 has been web-centric, and he’s written and developed content on a variety of subjects. His work in the houseboat industry received wide acclaim, such as winning the 1999 Cisco Systems Growing with Technology award and being named one of five finalists in the manufacturing sector of the 2000 Computerworld-Smithsonian Awards. As an Air Force brat, he spent much of his childhood in a two-year cycle of moving to a new place, making new friends, establishing a life, and then moving again. Destinations included: Kentucky, Illinois, Texas, the Greek isle of Crete, California and Ohio. Today you’ll find Cecil coping with his 15 year old son’s decision to pursue a motorcycle license at the same time he gets his driver’s license, being active across the web on multiple social media sites, and of course, writing articles and creating content on automotive and car insurance related topics right here at CarInsurance.org.


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