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Toyota Incentives Trigger Bounce in Industry Sales

March 12, 2010
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SANTA MONICA, CA - Edmunds.com, an online resource for automotive information, has evaluated early March car sales and determined that so far this month, sales industrywide are stronger than they’ve been in nearly a year.

“Data from the first eight days of the month indicates that the sales pace is at a Seasonally Adjusted Annualized Rate of about 12.5 million units – the highest level since August 2009,” says Edmunds.com Senior Analyst Ray Zhou, PhD. “Generous incentives from General Motors and Toyota have stimulated this boom, but I anticipate that it will cool off and that the month will end with a SAAR in the low 11 million.”

Thanks to its incentives program, Toyota’s retail market share so far this month is about 16.8%, up 10%from last March's 15.2%, and up 31% from 12.8% last month when the company’s widely publicized recalls impaired sales. Toyota's daily retail sales rate is running at about 47% higher than that of the same period last year, and about 71% higher than that of last month.

Chevrolet – another heavily incentivized brand – is also a big gainer so far this month. Its retail market share so far this month is 12.9%, up 13% from last March's 11.4%, and up 14% from 11.3% last month.

Ford got a late start in the incentives game this month, and Honda has not responded with any offer; both companies seem to be suffering market share losses as a result.

In the first eight days of March, Honda's retail market share was 9.2%, down 18% from last March's 11.2% and down 11% from 10.4% last month.

In the same period, Ford's retail market share was 11.7%, down 5% from last March's 12.4% and down 5% from 12.5% last month.

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