Higher sales for Japan’s Toyota saw it jump into second place in the United States overtaking Ford. That as year-end figures showed the total number of cars sold in the US fell to its lowest level in a decade.
Toyota’s sales climbed 2.7% compared with 2006. Ford’s US sales were down 12% from the year before and they slumped 9.5% in December.
General Motors remains in top position in the US, but its sales were down by 6% compared with the previous year at 3.87 million vehicles. Toyota sold 2.62 million and just pulled ahead of Ford, pushing it out of the number two position it has held for the last 75 years.
However all manufacturers – domestic and foreign – saw lower or virtually flat sales in December and all have cut their outlooks for this year.
One reason why Toyota was able to boost sales was because of higher fuel prices as it makes smaller more efficient cars such as the hybrid Prius, a model which increased sales in the US last year by 69%.