Toyota Sales Bounce Back in the US
The reason for this positive and unexpected result appears to be, as we have reported before, Toyota’s aggressive marketing strategy that includes 0 percent APR financing for up to 60 months on 2010 Avalon, Camry, Corolla, Highlander, Matrix, RAV4, Tundra and Yaris, for qualifying buyers.
This discount program has the goal to rehabilitate Toyota’s image after some of the most serious mechanical incidents plagued their North American vehicle stocks. "We launched this program to expand the focus on our customers, and thank them for their loyalty by adding value to our products," Bob Carter, group vice president and general manager of Toyota Division said when the program was launched.
Now, just two weeks in March results are already starting to show as automotive analysts try to explain the situation. Sales in US soared by 50 percent in the first eight days of March, as compared to the same period last year.
Edmunds, which analyzes the US auto sales trends, estimated that Toyota’s retail market share would increase from 12.8 percent a month ago (when the Japanese car maker was struggling with their safety glitches) to 16.8 percent.
"What they're doing right now is they are picking low-hanging fruit. These are the people who are undecided about the brand but given the lower price, now that provides incentives to go ahead and purchase,” said Chester Schriesheim, professor at the University of Miami School of Business Administration. "But they're going to exhaust that pool of individuals and then they'll find it harder in the longer term to raise the prices backward."