Despite the enormous recall, Toyota –the world’s largest carmaker expects its March 2010 sales figures to be up by 30-35 percent compared to last March.
Toyota U.S. sales chief Jim Lentz said the company was still reviewing incentive plans for April and had yet to decide whether to extend zero-percent financing and other unprecedented discounts beyond March. The company sold 132,802 vehicles in March 2009. A 35% increase would put sales at about 179,000 new cars and trucks.
One surprise was the Toyota Rav4, which could have sales of 22,000 this month compared with the 6,600 sold last month.
Toyota, which has traditionally spurned steep discounts to protect resale values, launched in March zero-percent financing for five years on top-selling models, including the Camry, and free maintenance for two years in what it called its “most far-reaching sales program in history.”
Earlier in the day, Lentz said dealers have fixed 1.7 million vehicles out of the approximate six million cars recalled for sticky pedal and floor mat issues. About 60% of the sticky pedal issues have been repaired and 20% of the vehicles associated with floor mats.