Toyota (NYSE:TM) has outshone other Asian competitors like Nissan Motors (NASDAQ:NSANY), Hyundai (005380:Korea SE) and Honda Motors (NYSE:HMC) in the latest March sales data released by the companies. While Toyota’s sales have increased by 15%, Nissan and Hyundai’s sales have increased by 13% while Honda’s sales have fell by 5%.  This sales growth tones down in the context that overall cars and trucks sales in U.S. has grown by 13% in March as higher gasoline prices were countered by increased buying from people who had put off car purchases during the economic downturn.
Toyota competes in the U.S. market with North American automotive majors like GM (NYSE:GM), Ford (NYSE:F), Chrysler apart from the Asian car manufacturers. We currently have a $93 price estimate for Toyota’s stock is about 8.2% above the current market price.
Toyota’s sales were driven by the success of its Camry sedan, the top-selling U.S. car for the past 10 years. Its sales jumped 10% in March, reaching 42,567. Toyota’s Prius hybrid was the surprise for the month, recording growth of 54% to reach 28,711 deliveries. The Prius hybrid family has now now four car models and is currently the third best selling U.S. car line. The demand for this model is expected to stay strong in the coming months and Toyota should be able to comfortably meet it with its renewed capacity. Toyota’s overall unit sales in U.S. for the month of March stood at 203,282 vehicles, the highest since 2008. These sales correspond to a 15% growth rate for the company and is in line with our expectations.
North America is one of the most important markets for Toyota and its sales in this region account for nearly 13% of the stock’s value. We are currently revising our estimate for the U.S. car sales data and Toyota’s market share in light to of the strong resurgence of the auto sector in U.S. and Toyota’s impressive performance. Going forward, we feel Toyota’s 14.5% market share in March will come under pressure and Toyota might have ~14% market share for the entire 2012. The car sales for the entire year in U.S. should be around 14.5 million.Notes:
- Toyota Prius Hybrid sales Drive Asian Carmakers’ U.S. Gains, Bloomberg, 4 April, 2012 [↩]