• Kyodo

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Crisis-hit Toyota Motor Corp.’s new car sales in the United States are expected to fall by more than 10 percent in February from a year before, with its market share dwindling to its lowest level since July 2005, a U.S. research firm said Thursday.

Toyota is projected to sell about 99,000 vehicles in February, down 10.1 percent from February 2009 and down 0.2 percent from January this year, Edmunds.com said.

The projected sales by Toyota are the third-largest in February among carmakers operating in the United States, following 147,000 vehicles by General Motors Co., up 16.2 percent from a year earlier, and 136,000 vehicles by Ford Motor Co., up 35.3 percent, the research firm said.

Toyota’s market share is expected to stand at 12.6 percent in February, down from 15.9 percent a year earlier and from 14.2 percent in January 2010, it said.

“Toyota’s market share will be the lowest since July 2005, and is expected to drop to 12.6 percent — but many of its Asian competitors benefited from its recall woes,” said Michelle Krebs, senior analyst of the research firm.

Honda Motor Co. is expected to sell 89,000 vehicles in February, up 24.1 percent from a year before, Nissan Motor Co. 75,000 vehicles, up 38.1 percent, and Hyundai Motor Co. 66,000 vehicles, up 24.7 percent.

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