Asian carmakers push ahead in annual market share
Toyota Motor Corp.’s U.S. sales surged 32 percent in December and
Hyundai Motor Co.’s soared 41 percent to push Asian automakers ahead of
U.S. competitors in annual market share for the first time, Bloomberg
News Service reported.
Japanese and South Korean companies raised sales last month 26 percent
from a year earlier. Honda Motor Co. posted a 24 percent increase.
Hyundai, South Korea’s largest automaker, posted an annual increase of
8.3 percent, as the industry total slid 21 percent to 10.4 million,
according to Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey-based Autodata. Hyundai, based
in Seoul, is seventh in the U.S. by sales volume.
Toyota said December sales rose to 187,860 Toyota, Lexus and Scion
models from 141,949 a year earlier, led by Corolla small cars, Camry
sedans and Prius hybrids.
Don Esmond, the Toyota City, Japan-based automaker’s U.S. senior vice
president, said the company probably led the market in annual retail
sales for the first time, with more than 1.6 million vehicles. That
excludes deliveries to fleet buyers such as rental-car companies.
Honda, Japan’s second-largest automaker, reported selling 107,143
vehicles last month, rising from 86,085. The company for the first time
moved ahead of Chrysler in annual U.S. sales, taking over the No. 4 ranking.
Honda’s December gains came from increases for Accord sedans, Civic
small cars and CR-V and Pilot sport-utility vehicles, said Chris Martin,
a company spokesman.