Toyota, Honda and Nissan – Japan’s Big Three – all reported U.S. sales declines in September with tight supplies of some models after August’s surge and fewer weekend selling days.
The only Asian brand to smile in September was Fuji Heavy Industries Subaru, as its brand sales expanded to a full 15% increase for September compared with a year earlier.
In the mean time, Toyota, the world’s largest automaker, posted a 4.3% decrease last month, and Nissan’s sales fell 5.5%, bigger declines than analysts expected. Honda, the most reliant Japanese brand on the U.S. sales, had a whopping 9.9% sales drop that topped even analysts’ estimates.
Toyota Motor Corp’s U.S. sales division said that September U.S. sales for the industry were about 1,138,000, down 4.3% from a year ago. After Toyota issued its estimate, industry consultant Autodata Corp said September sales were 1,139,050 vehicles, down 4.2%. Autodata also said that the annualized sales rate for September was 15.28 million vehicles, compared with 14.78 million a year ago, but still missing the 15.4 million average of 16 estimates.
Combined sales for Japanese and Korean brands dropped 7.2%, cutting their market share to 44.6% from 46.1% a year ago. Toyota, which outsold Ford Motor in July and August, fell back to third in the U.S., while Honda fell to fifth in volume after topping Chrysler Group in July and August.