Toyota U.S. sales fall 16% in Jan.; Ford, GM, Nissan UP

JANUARY U.S. AUTO SALES
Toyota sales fall 16% in Jan.; Ford, GM, Nissan rise

Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc., hobbled by suspended sales on eight recalled models, suffered a 16 percent drop in January demand while most competitors rose from depressed levels of a year ago.
U.S. sales at Toyota Division, which markets each of the recalled models, fell 19 percent. The Lexus luxury division, which wasn’t targeted in the Jan. 21 recall, gained 5 percent.
Sales at Ford Motor Co. jumped 25 percent — the company’s fourth straight monthly increase. General Motors Co. was up 14 percent, while Chrysler Group, the other survivor of a 2009 bankruptcy, fell 11 percent. In unit sales, Chrysler fell behind Nissan North America, which advanced 16 percent. American Honda slipped 5 percent.
Subaru, the only brand with U.S. sales gains in each of the past two years, began 2010 with a 28 percent sales jump.
Shinichi Sasaki, Toyota’s vice president in charge of quality, said today in Japan that the automaker’s sales probably will take a hit. On Jan. 26, Toyota halted U.S. sales of eight models following a recall of 2.3 million vehicles tied to faulty accelerator pedals.
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