Japanese Automakers Expect Higher Sales in the US This Year image

Automakers in Japan are optimistic that 2013 will bring even better sales in the US, thanks to their new products and the weakening yen.

Toyota, the third biggest car maker in the US, predicts sales this year would be the strongest since 2008, expecting to sell 2.2 million units, an increase of 6% from 2012. Honda, which is the fifth largest automaker in the US, plans to break its sales record of 1.55 million vehicles sold in 2007. Honda relies on several key models, including the redesigned Accord sedan which was introduced in the US in September. The Japanese automaker plans to expand not only in the US but in neighboring markets too.

“Now is a very good time for us to enhance our presence in North America,” said Chief Executive Takanobu Ito.

In 2012 Japanese automakers sold over 5.3 million vehicles in the US, an increase of 20% from 2011, when companies were trying to recover from the natural disasters which hit Japan and Thailand. Yesterday, January 15th, Toyota which has sold last year 9.7 million vehicles, became certain to take back the no.1 place it lost in 2012, as GM reported sales of 9.28 million units.