An extra selling day, coupled with hefty retail incentives, boosted October deliveries of import brands in the U.S. 3% to 744,300 cars and light trucks, according to company reports.
Results were mixed for both Asian and European marques. Among Asia-based producers, volume grew for Honda (+8% to 117,500 vehicles), Hyundai/Kia (+11% to 109,000) and Mazda (+5% to 19,500). Sales were flat at 55,500 units for Subaru.
But October sales fell for Toyota (-1% to 188,800 units) and Nissan/Infiniti (-6% to 103,600).
Europe’s three best-selling companies reported gains for the period. They were led by Volkswagen Group (+6% to 53,100 vehicles), where a 19% jump in Audi sales offset a 3% decline for VW brand vehicles. Sales also climbed for BMW Group (+7% to 28,500) and Daimler (+1% to 32,100). Volume was flat for Jaguar Land Rover at 10,400 units.
For conducting business in the U.S. market, Toyota has historically had several separate business entities: a sales and distribution company headquartered in California (Toyota Motor Sales, USA); manufacturing operations (Toyota Motor Manufacturing North America); a racing subsidiary (Toyota Racing Development, USA); the Toyota Technical Center for R&D in Ann Arbor; and a design facility in California (Calty Design Research, Inc.). On April 1, 2006, Toyota merged its R&D operations and its manufacturing operations into a single company.
Once the playground of exotic car makers, the definition of a niche vehicle has expanded to include image vehicles for mainstream OEMs, and specialist models produced on high-volume platforms.
It’s the fifth generation of a vehicle that has been increasing in sales year after year since its introduction in 1997.