Top US sales exec says increases may result from hedge against strong yen.
Toyota still thinks automakers can sell 14.3 million vehicles in U.S. this year, he said, even though sales have slowed the past two months, and some analysts have cut their forecasts. But Lentz said pent-up demand should prop up sales. The average vehicle in the U.S. is nearly 11 years old and people have to replace their aging rides.
Toyota, he said, has fully recovered from the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that hobbled its Japanese factories and caused model shortages worldwide. In the U.S., the company’s dealer inventory dropped to around 120,000 vehicles last summer. Now it’s back to 299,000, which is near the 300,000 that Toyota considers optimal.
– With files from The Canadian Press
© 2012 The Canadian Press