Toyota sales slide 16% after recall as GM, Ford gain image

Toyota Motor Corp.’s U.S. January sales slid 16 percent to a 10-year low as a recall put some of its most-popular models off limits, while General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co. posted increases that beat analysts’ estimates.

GM’s deliveries climbed 14 percent and Ford rose 25 percent after the automakers targeted Toyota buyers last week with trade-in incentives. Nissan Motor Co. said sales were up 16 percent. Honda Motor Co. said sales fell 5 percent, and Chrysler Group LLC dropped 8 percent.
Toyota’s decline snaps three months of advances and means the Japanese automaker couldn’t take advantage of the U.S. auto market’s longest streak of gains since 2006. Industrywide deliveries have now climbed for three months after the recession dragged 2009 demand to the lowest levels in 27 years.

“In the next few months, it is going to be a challenge for Toyota to convince consumers to consider their cars,” said Jesse Toprak, vice president of industry trends at researcher in Santa Monica, California. “This is going to be a tough, uphill battle for Toyota.”

Toyota’s sales slumped to 98,796 from 117,287, the lowest monthly total for the Toyota City, Japan-based automaker since January 1999, based on data compiled by Bloomberg. Ford said it outsold Toyota for the first time since June.

Image: Getty Images