Toyota market share back to No.2 in US

by SR on October 3, 2012

Share of US auto market by OEM

Toyota getting its mojo back

Despite Ford’s much-touted new products (Fusion, Focus etc) Toyota managed to nudge past Ford again for the second time in 2012, after just beating them in April 2012. Before that, you have to go back to July 2010 for a month when Toyota outsold Ford. Slowly but surely Toyota is gathering sales momentum. As for the share price, that’s a different issue. As the chart below shows, Toyota, Denso, Honda and Nissan have all fallen sharply over the past couple of weeks, presumably because of the discord with China over the Senkaku Islands.

My view is that one or other of these disputes crops up every year between China and Japan but these spats can’t and don’t continue indefinitely. Whether it’s territorial disputes, claims of low wages (remember that a couple of years ago?) or issues surrounding Japanese war-time guilt or lack of it, these events are a feature of the landscape and have been for years. It can take the edge off sales of Japanese autos in China, certainly, but not change the trend. Yet share prices have plummeted. For example a couple of weeks ago Denso’s share price was up more than 30% year-to-date, but now the share price has fallen to the point that it is up less than 15% YTD. Is a move that large justified by local disturbances of a temporary nature? No, it isn’t, but these are the hyper-risk-averse markets we are working in. This should be a good buying opportunity for Denso ahead of what will be a strong July-September 2012 quarter, announced at the end of October 2012.

Share price performance year-to-date of Toyota and other Japanese auto stocks

US auto seasonally adjusted annualised rate of sales (SAAR) in million units

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