Toyota's Prius hybrid tops Japan's April auto sales, clinches top spot for 12th straight month
Shino Yuasa, Associated Press Writer, On Tuesday May 11, 2010, 1:09 am EDT
TOKYO (AP) -- Toyota's Prius ranked as Japan's top-selling car in April, clinching the No. 1 spot for the 12th straight month despite a recall of the hybrid vehicle for brakingproblems.
Toyota Motor Corp. sold 26,482 of the gas-electric cars in Japan last month, the Japan Automobile Dealers Association said Tuesday.
The world's top automaker is battling to salvage its reputation overseas after being battered by massive recalls of top-selling models including the Prius.
The recall crisis had almost no impact on Prius sales in Japan, said Michiro Saito, an associationofficial.
"Consumers continue to want the Prius despite the recall problem. The vehicle remains hugely popular due to energy efficiency and reasonable prices," said Saito.
Tax breaks and government subsidies for environmentally friendly vehicles like the Prius also helped boost demand for the hybrid car.
The Prius, now in its third generation since its 1997 introduction, is the best-sellinghybrid in the world, with a total of 1.74 million sold, according to Toyota. The vehicle is so popular in Japan that it has a six-month waiting list.
Rival Honda Motor Co.'s fuel-efficient FIT was in second place in Japan's April sales with 12,222 sold, the association said.
Toyota has recalled more than 8 million vehicles worldwide since November, including more than 6 million in the U.S. alone,due to acceleration and braking problems.
Toyota paid a record $16.4 million U.S. government fine last month because of a four-month delay in telling authorities about defective gas pedals.
Doubts about the safety of Toyota's cars could intensify again as the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Monday launched a new probe into Toyota's recalls in 2005 over steering-wheeldefects.
Toyota is to announce its earnings for the fiscal year to March 2010 later Thursday.
Toyota quarterly profit $1.2 bln as sales recover
Toyota cruises back into the black in latest quarter with $1.2 bln profit amid sales recovery
President of Toyota Motor Corp., Akio Toyoda, arrives for a press conference in Tokyo, Tuesday, May 11, 2010. Toyota cruised back to profit in thelatest quarter as the world's top car maker cut costs and hitched a ride on the global auto sales recovery while fighting to salvage its reputation for quality. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)
Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer, On Tuesday May 11, 2010, 6:43 am EDT
TOKYO (AP) -- Toyota cruised back to profit in the latest quarter as the world's top carmaker cut costs and hitched a ride on the global autosales recovery while fighting to salvage its reputation for quality.
But the automaker's top executive and analysts alike said Toyota is still far from a full recovery while another potential blow to its image looms after U.S. federal authorities launched a fresh investigation into a steering recall.
Toyota Motor Corp. said Tuesday that January-March profit totaled 112 billion yen ($1.2 billion)compared with a 766 billion yen loss the year before.
Quarterly revenue jumped to 5.28 trillion yen ($57 billion) from 3.54 trillion yen a year earlier, when purchases of cars and other vehicles were slumping amid the global financial crisis.
Toyota, which makes the Prius hybrid and Camry sedan, is forecasting even better results for the fiscal year through March 2011, projecting annual profitto rise 48 percent to 310 billion yen ($3.3 billion).
Whether the world's biggest automaker can continue its recovery rests in part on salvaging its reputation after recalling more than 8 million cars worldwide for faulty gas pedals, a braking software glitch, faulty floor mats and other defects.
On Monday, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it is carrying out a new...