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.





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