Edmunds: Toyota's January Sales Tanked

Toyota/down arrowAuto marketing Web site and marketing firm sees a dour January for car sales, but that's not going to be a surprise to anyone -- not least Toyota. The Torrance, Calif. automaker's January sales will give it its worst share of the U.S. market since 2006, per Edmunds. The company sees Toyota as having the worst drop in year-over-year sales of any automaker in the U.S. and the second-worst month-over-month drop after Nissan.


Overall, Edmunds predicts new vehicle sales (including fleet sales) will be 701,000 units, or a 10.7 million seasonally adjusted annual rate, down from 11.2 million in December 2009.

The industry will see a 7.1% drop from January 2009, but a big 31.7% decrease from December 2009. Edmunds says the problem is ameliorated somewhat by the fact that January actually had two fewer auto-sales days than January 2009. Adjusted appropriately, January's sales actually increased 16% from January 2009.



This month won't be so bad for domestics, and they can thank Ford and Toyota for that, for opposite reasons. Edmunds sees Chrysler, Ford and General Motors with 47.2% share of the market, up from 43.4% in January 2009 and up from 46.2% in December 2009.

Edmunds predicts that Toyota's market share will sink to 14.7% this month -- numbers not seen since March 2006 when the Torrance automaker had 14.2% of U.S. sales. The firm predicts Toyota will sell 103,000 units in January 2010, down 11.9% from January 2009 and down 45% from December 2009. Toyota's share of the U.S. market was 18.3% in December.

Ford actually has had a comfortable month -- make that an outstanding month: The Dearborn, Mich. automaker started the month with Car and Truck of the Year wins at the Detroit Auto Show, and then posted surprisingly salutary earnings. forecasts that Ford's share will be 18% -- numbers it also hasn't seen since 2006, when it had 18.4% market share, according to Michelle Krebs, senior analyst at Edmunds. If so, Ford will be within two percentage points of General Motors, which Edmunds predicts will end the month with about 19.9% of the U.S. market. General Motors' share last January was a notch above 20%.

Chrysler is on track to sell 65,000 vehicles in January, up 5.7% versus January last year and down 24.3% from December 2009, which was its best month of last year. If so, Chrysler will end up with 9.3% share in January, down from 9.4% in January last year and up from 8.4% in December, per Edmunds. predicts Honda's sales will increase in January by about 2.8%, giving it 10.4% of the market -- down from 10.8% in January 2009 and flat from 10.4% in December 2009.

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