Exec says Toyota expects U.S. share to recover to 15% in 2013
Bob Carter: "With the new products coming, our volume will go up, our share will go up."
Toyota Motor Sales expects its U.S. market share to return to above 15 percent in 2013 when a string of redesigned vehicles arrives.
Toyota is still recovering market share that fell during the inventory shortages after last year's earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
Toyota became the No. 1 retail brand in the United States again in March.
"Our recovery was well ahead of plan," Bob Carter, senior vice president of automotive operations, said today at the Barclays Global Automotive Conference in New York.
The Toyota, Lexus and Scion brands have a combined U.S. market share of 14.4 percent through October, an increase from 12.6 percent for the same period last year. U.S. unit sales have increased 30 percent to 1.7 million this year.
The company's U.S. share peaked at 17 percent in 2009 and fell to 15.2 percent in 2010.
In 2011, it slipped further to 12.9 percent.
Toyota will launch redesigns of the Avalon and Avalon Hybrid full-sized sedans in December, followed next year by redesigns of the RAV4 and Highlander crossovers, Tundra full-sized pickup and Corolla compact sedan. A midcycle update to the 4Runner also is planned.
"With the new products coming, our volume will go up, our share will go up," Carter said. While not giving a market share target, he said, "We will sustain in excess of 15 percent."
The six car and light-truck models to be replaced are on track to produce sales of about 760,000 in 2012. In 2007 -- in a much bigger market -- the same six accounted for 1.03 million.
Carter said Toyota would not repeat its brief rise in fleet sales earlier this year. Toyota told fleet buyers in 2011 that they would have to wait until this year for tsunami-stricken inventories to reach appropriate levels; retail buyers came first. But that meant first-quarter fleet sales surged to 15 percent of total deliveries.
Since summer, Toyota's fleet sales have dropped below 10 percent of all deliveries -- the company's historical target.
Carter is also encouraged by the increased transaction prices for Toyota's newest vehicles.
"Consumers have delayed purchasing cars," Carter said. "But those vehicles in highest demand are those with high option loads, whether it's sunroofs or advance telematics technology."
For Carter's prepared remarks today, click here.
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