Toyota January 2009 Sales Fall 8.7 Percent Year-to-Year

Based upon Toyota’s U.S. sales figures in January 2010, the effects of Toyota’s recalls may already be tangible. The automaker said today it had sold 98,796 vehicles in the past month, a decrease of 8.7 percent compared to January 2009.

Although it looks better than this month’s results, last January wasn’t exactly a benchmark for Toyota. At 117,287 vehicles, sales in January 2009 were down a substantial 34 percent compared to the same time in 2008.

Toyota attributes this year’s fall largely to the fact it was forced to halt sales and production of eight models involved in a safety recall. According to Toyota, this affected for 60 percent of its inventory, and is largely responsible for the 8.7-percent decline.

Hit hardest, perhaps, was the Toyota division itself. Sales for the marque -- including Scion-badged vehicles -- fell 12 percent to 83,279 vehicles. Apart from the Venza -- which wasn’t sold for the entirety of last January -- the Prius was the only Toyota passenger car to post a gain. Sales of the hybrid hatchback grew to 8484 units, a 13.2-percent growth.

Lexus, it seems, is the shining star in Toyota’s sales report. The luxury division sold 15,517, a 14.2-percent rise over the 14,722 cars sold in January 2008. A new GX SUV and a the LS led the way for the division, posting increases of 163.8 percent and 30.9 percent, respectively.

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