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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