Japans Big Three Posted Increased March 2007 Sales

By: Anthony Fontanelle

The American International Automobile Dealers Association (AIADA) recently reported the total U.S. auto sale for the month of March. The report shows the auto market increased sales by 0.8 percent compared to March 2006 sales. The increase in the new car sales is affected mostly by Asian brands since the U.S.' Big Three reported reduced sales for the said month.

Japan's version of the Big Three played a major role in the improvement of auto sales in the United States last month. Toyota, Honda, and Nissan all posted increased sales for the month of March. Even the luxury division of the said Japanese car manufacturers posted strong sales. Scion is the only Japanese brand from the three biggest Japanese car manufacturers to post reduced sales for the month of March.

The Toyota Division leads the way for the Toyota Motor Corporation with a 12.7 percent increase in their 2007 March sales. The division sold 213,820 units last month. That figure is composed of 121,881 passenger cars and 91,939 light trucks. Passenger car sales increased by 17.8 percent as compared to that of March of 2006 while light truck sales increased by 6.7 percent over that of March 2006. The Toyota Camry is still the best selling model for the division and the company as a whole with 37,110 units sold last month. Although the Camry showed reduced sales for the month, the Toyota Corolla takes up the slack by posting a 6.3 percent increase over March 2006 sales. The hybrid Prius still continue posting strong sales figures as the demand for green vehicles increases. For light trucks, the Toyota Tacoma pickup led the way posting 16.5 percent sales increase over March 2006 as 18,243 units of Tacomas were sold.

Lexus, the luxury division of the Toyota Motor Corporation, posted a 4.6 percent increase in sales for the month of March. The division sold 28,855 units last month and raised the year to date sales to 73,491 units. For the first three month of the year, Lexus has already posted a 7.5 percent sales improvement over the first quarter of 2006. The best selling model for the luxury division is the ES 350 sedan with 7,444 units sold and that marks an increase of 75.9 percent over last year for the same period.

Meanwhile, the youth division Scion recorded reduced sales for the month of March compared to March 2006. The tC sports coupe is the best selling model of the brand with 6,314 units sold. What affected the reduced sale for the brand is the reduced sale of the xA which is down by 33.9 percent for the month of March.

Honda, the second biggest Japanese car manufacturer, also posted increased sales last month as compared to March 2006. The Honda division sold 126,406 units, posting a 9.5 percent improvement over March 2006. The Honda Accord is still the best selling passenger car for the Japanese outfit. Sales for the Accord reached 36,506 units and that is an increase of 18.8 percent. For light trucks, the best selling Honda model is the CR-V, with 19,658 units sold, an increase of 49.2 percent.

The increased sale of the CR-V and the Accord helped Honda reached its best March sales in its history and as long as the demand for these models increases, not even a highly efficient brake from can stop the forward surge of Honda. Honda's luxury division, Acura also posted strong sales with the increased demand for the MDX and RDX SUVs. Both models helped the division reached total March sale of 16,986 units. The best selling model Acura is the TL luxury sedan with 5,769 units sold.

Nissan, another surging Japanese car manufacturer, posted a 6.6 percent sales increase for the month of March. The company sold 97,242 units while sales for the first quarter of the year increased to 246,436 units. For the first three months of 2007, Nissan posted a 5.3 percent increase compared to the first quarter of 2006. The best selling model for Nissan is the Altima sedan with 27,521 units sold, posting an increase of 13.7 percent.

Infiniti, Nissan's luxury division also enjoyed increased sales by posting 16.8 percent sales improvement for the month of March 2007. The division sold 13,877 units last month.

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