Toyota Motor Sales is optimistic about U.S. auto sales for 2013, despite possible obstacles of tax hikes and deep government spending cuts.

The Japanese company’s U.S. subsidiary is more worried about snow than fiscal hurdles. “I am more concerned with a major snowstorm shutting down the Midwest or Northeast than anything happening in Washington having an effect on the market. The market is showing too much strength right now,” Bob Carter, Toyota senior vice president of automotive operations, was quoted as saying by Automotive News.

Toyota forecasts November sales will end with a 14.9 million seasonally adjusted annual rate of sales, with predictions for the 2012 calendar year sitting slightly above 14.3 million units. According to Carter, the strong sales in November, tipically a weak month, show signs of strong consumer demand.

For 2013, Toyota sees industry sales „in the upper 14s”, with the possibility of even hitting 15 million. Most of 2013 growth is expected to come from retail sales, as fleet sales appear to have reached a maximum level.

“The market is going very well. Consumer confidence is heading in the right direction. The pent-up demand is real,” Carter added. Another promising element for increased sales is the fact that 20 percent of the 245 million cars on U.S. roads are 16 years or older.


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