Earlier this week, we discussed the sales results posted by domestic automakers. While Ford Motor Company and General Motors reported increases in sales, albeit at levels lower than those estimated and expected. Chrysler’s results, with strong demand for Jeep, Dodge and Chrysler products, were the largest gains of any American automaker.
At the time, Honda and Nissan were the only two Japanese nameplates with results in hand, and Toyota had still not released their sales figures. A day later, and we’ve got full results for the entire industry. Toyota, like Honda, had promised a gain in sales for October. And just as Honda had done, Toyota missed its projected sales goals and posted a decrease of 7.9 percent from October, 2010.
Bob Carter, Toyota group vice president for sales in the United States told the press during conference call covering the Toyota results “We came up a little short.” He continued that Toyota’s aim for a gain in sales in October “was an aggressive goal, given our inventory situation at the time, but something we wanted to shoot for.”
Nissan is the only Japanese automaker to post huge sales increases for 2011, but they weren’t the only one to show a rise in sales for October. Mazda managed a meager 1.7 increase in sales. Other Japanese companies stuck with Honda and Toyota, with Mitsubishi down 14 percent, Subaru posting a 12 percent decline, and Suzuki coming in with a 4.7 percent drop.
Besides Nissan and Mazda, there were other bright spots for Asian automakers, including Hyundai that saw sales increase by 23 percent. Elantra, Sonata and Veloster models all sold very well. And Korean carmaker Kia, which is owned by Hyundai, saw sales rise by 2 percent. The two companies are operated independently, but together, they increased sales by 22 percent.
Despite the decline in market share for both Toyota and Honda, overall, auto sales in the United States were up 7.5 percent. We suspect as they regain ground lost from natural disasters, these two industry stalwarts will soon be posting sales gains again.