NEW YORK – Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. posted strong year-on-year sales in the United States in August, according to data compiled by a research firm.
Toyota’s sales surged 45.6 percent to 188,520 units, while Honda’s jumped 59.5 percent to 131,321 units, Autodata Corp. said Tuesday.
The two automakers’ sales slumped in August 2011 because their vehicle production was disrupted by parts shortages following the Great East Japan Earthquake.
Toyota was ranked third last month in the U.S. with a market share of 14.7 percent and Honda placed fifth with 10.2 percent.
Total new automobile sales in the United States increased 19.9 percent to 1.285 million units, rising for the 15th straight month, Autodata said. The figure was the highest in five years for the month of August.
U.S. consumers who had refrained from purchasing automobiles in the wake of the global financial crisis are now looking to buy again, while a drop in auto loan interest rates also helped boost sales, industry sources said.
Among other carmakers, General Motors Co. sold 240,520 vehicles, a rise of 10.1 percent, to retain top spot with an 18.7 percent market share, followed by Ford Motor Co. with a 15.3 percent share and sales of 196,749 units, a 12.6 percent increase, and Chrysler Group LLC, whose sales rose 13.6 percent to 144,322 units to claim 11.2 percent of the market.
Officials at GM said that total new vehicles sales in the United States will reach 14.3 million units in 2012, their highest level since the 16.15 million units posted in 2007, if growth remains at its current pace in the final quarter of the year. The market for new automobiles is expected to remain solid, a senior GM official commented.
An improving housing market is meanwhile expected to push up demand for light-duty trucks in the second half of the year, according to industry analysts.