A big reason is because there will a greater supply of cars and trucks now that Toyota has recovered from the Thai floods and the devastating tsunamithat struck Japan last year. That’s important because Toyota believes there are hundreds of thousands of Toyota owners who have been waiting to buy. Now that there’s a greater selection at dealerships, the expectation is those loyal customers will trade in for a new model.
Toyota is also counting on the refreshed Camry and the expanded line-up of Prius hybrids to generate big sales. Last year, Camry sales dropped 5.9% and Prius sales fell 3.2%; both hurt by tight supply. This year, the expectation is for both to have substantially higher sales. In January, the Camry was the second best-selling vehicle in the U.S. and Prius sales were up 8.7%
Finally, as the economy improves in the U.S. so will auto sales. The assumption in the industry is that Toyota will get its traditional market share. Add in improving auto sales in Japan and it is easy to see why Toyota is so optimistic about this year.
Is the Japanese automaker too optimistic? Will it beat out GM and Volkswagen to finish #1 globally? It’s too early to say. One thing is clear: Toyota is expecting a big year.
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