Toyota reports drop in U.S. auto sales in January

by SpeedLux
Images of Toyota Prius

Toyota Motor has reported a 6.6 percent decline in U.S. vehicle sales for January, damaged by lower demand for its Camry and Prius cars.

The third largest automaker in the United States by sales stated it sold 156,021 vehicles in January, down from 167,056 vehicles 2018. Camry sales dropped 3.4 percent, while Prius sales slumped 57 percent, the company stated.

Auto industry consultants J.D. Power and LMC Automotive forecast January auto sales to decrease about 1 percent from the same month in last year, partly because of uncertainty over the recent government shutdown.

The auto consultants also forecast total light vehicle sales in 2019 to drop 1.9 percent to about 17 million units, compared to last year.

However, significant automakers are bullish about this year’s sales even as economists cautioned that increasing interest rates may discourage consumers from purchasing cars this year.

General Motors and Ford Motor, the two big automakers that together commanded a 32 percent market share in last year, have stopped reporting monthly sales figures, opting to report on a quarterly basis.

Bloomberg, however, reported late on Friday that Ford’s sales increased 7 percent, while General Motors’ dropped 7 percent in January, citing people familiar with the matter. GM refused to comment, while Ford was unavailable for discussion.

Smaller competitor Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV reported a 2 percent increase in U.S. auto sales for January, assisted by higher demand for its Ram pickup trucks and stated it expects strong sales in this year.

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