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Toyota executive: Company fully recovered from last year’s tsunami

The senior vice president for Toyota Motor Sales USA said Tuesday morning that the automaker is having a much better go of it than this time last year.

Bob Carter, speaking at the J.P. Morgan Auto Conference in New York, said overall sales were up 26 percent for July and 30 percent for the year, mostly because Toyota can again meet its demand as its Japanese facilities get back online after last year’s tsunami. To add to that, Carter said, the company is growing because several new versions of old products are selling well.

Sales of the new Camry, for example, were 39 percent higher in July than for the same period in 2011. It’s still the best-selling car in America, holding a 60,000 unit lead over the second place Honda Accord.

Carter didn’t offer any new numbers associated with the Corolla – though he did mention the plant in Blue Springs – there was some news that could potentially have an impact in Mississippi. For a few months now, rumors have flown – and have not exactly been denied by Toyota executives – that the Blue Springs facility could eventually build the Prius to go with the Corolla.

Combined sales of the new Prius v and the original Prius liftback have set retail volume records every month from last November until July, maintaining 43 percent of the hybrid market share.

Overall, Toyota expects sales of 2 million units in 2012, which would mean an 18 percent jump from last year.


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