Toyota’s U.S. Goal for the Prius is on Target


Bloomberg News

Toy­ota says it will meet the sales goal for its Prius model in the U.S. after say­ing in April that the com­pany may have to adjust the tar­get with declin­ing gas prices.

Find out what Jim Lentz has to say about the Prius U.S. sales forecast.

Toy­ota Motor Corp. said it will meet the sales goal for its Prius model in the U.S. after say­ing in April that the world’s biggest car­maker may adjust the tar­get as declin­ing gas prices sap demand.

“We’re on tar­get for sales of 250,000 units of the Prius fam­ily,” Jim Lentz, Toyota’s North Amer­i­can chief exec­u­tive offi­cer, said today in Nagoya City, Japan. “The U.S. econ­omy finally seems to be improving.”

Toyota’s U.S. deliv­er­ies have missed ana­lyst esti­mates for four straight months and its sales gain in the five months ended May trailed behind industry-wide growth amid demand for pickup trucks. U.S. automak­ers includ­ing Gen­eral Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co. have gained 1.2 points of mar­ket share this year as sales con­tinue on a pace for the best year since 2007.

While sales of its Prius hybrid vehi­cles last month were the best in a year, Toy­ota in April said deliv­er­ies of the gasoline-and-electric mod­els may not reach a tar­get for growth in 2013 after falling 8.4 per­cent in the first quarter.

“Despite what the actual gaso­line prices are, lower demand for fuel-efficient mod­els such as the Prius show that con­sumers are going for pickup trucks on an assump­tion for gas prices to remain low,” said Koichi Sug­i­moto, a Tokyo-based auto ana­lyst at BNP Paribas SA.

Toy­ota also plans to increase the por­tion of cars made in the U.S. for sale in the coun­try to 75 per­cent from the cur­rent 70 per­cent level, Lentz said today.