Toyota set to top 50% market share in Japan

Posted by: Ian Rowley on November 1, 2007

It’s been a long time coming but auto sales in Japan have, at least temporarily, stopped falling. Auto sales, excluding mini vehicles, rose 2% to 269,221 in October, the first monthly rise, year-on year, since June 2005.

Predictably, Toyota takes the credit for the October turnaround. Toyota and affiliates grew sales 6% to 138,000 units. Remarkably, when yet-to-be-announced minicar sales from its Daihatsu arm are added, Toyota’s overall market share top 50% for the first time. The company’s previous best month for Japan market share was 49.6% in November 2006. That should please Toyoda family scion Akio Toyoda, who was given the unenviable task of boosting Japan sales earlier this year.

Toyoda can thank a healthy pipeline of new models for the record breaking market share. This year, Toyota has launched a new vehicle in Japan every month since May, including a new Land Cruiser SUV in September and the boxy Corolla Rumion, a hatchback only for Japan, last month.

Still, there’s little reason for celebration at Toyota or other Japanese carmakers just yet. Japan, the world’s third largest car market after the U.S. and China, remains on course for one of its worst years for auto sales in generation and will almost certainly sell fewer cars than last year, itself the worst in 20 years. What’s more, many analysts expect the downwards sales trend to resume before too long.

Reader Comments

Karl

November 9, 2007 1:13 PM

I wonder if the SLUDGE PROBLEM is affecting Toyota engines in Japan as it is in the USA? You can 'Google' the words ENGINE SLUDGE and read all about it. Toyota vehicles ARE NOT what people have been led to believe!!

Noz

November 13, 2007 7:56 PM

Karl, is that ALL you have to offer? You come across as a one-Issue type of guy. Not unusual for American bigots, fans of the UAW, not to mention self-inflicted losers such as GM, Ford, and Chrysler.

SLUDGE is a part of the DEMOCRATIC party, after all, the essence of 'The American Way. Check out Nasty Nancy Pelosi and Hopeless Harry Reid and their congressional accomplishments after a year of our spending on their salaries and perqs, not to mention their unjustified retirement bennies.

Very clearly you have no understanding of Japan. There is -0- tolerance for foul-ups, and I have no doubt that the problems were fixed, loaners provided, bows exchanged and apologies made. Not like here in Barbaria. Not at all.

I might also add that you must not be olde enough to have a full understanding of SLUDGE. for example, while I had oil filters on my mid-thirties Chrysler products, it was not till the mid-50's that they were 'std. equipment' on GM cars. "Standard of The World" Cadillac included. Faster wear meant sooner replacements, and on the sick hulks traded in, massive repairs. Its all about money, but there are a number of angles in terms of screwing the buyers. Our domestics are masters at this practice, but their greed got the best of them at long last.

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