Toyota Motor Corporation (TYO:7203) has been losing market share in the U.S. and it doesn’t expect to come close to the 17 percent slice of the U.S. auto sales pie it had in 2009 amid the start of the sector’s rebound from the last U.S. recession.
It does, however, expect its current 14.2 percent of the market to tick up to 14.4 percent throughout the rest of the year. Last year, the company sold 2.1 million of its vehicles, out of the 14.5 million cars and light trucks sold in the U.S. last year, or 14.5 percent.
Toyota expects total U.S. auto sales to come in at 15.3 million units for the year, in line with most estimates that put sales between 15 million and 15.5 million.
"I'm not sure 17 percent is a realistic number," Jim Lentz, head of Toyota’s North American operations, said at a conference in Nagoya, Japan, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The auto sector is booming in the U.S. and China, floating sales for all of the world’s major automakers, but competition is heavy. Toyota is losing market share primarily to General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) and Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F), which have both seen U.S. gains (8 percent and 13 percent respectively so far this year) on truck and crossover sales.
The Ford Focus, the world’s No. 2 best-selling sedan, behind only Toyota’s Corolla, which saw a nearly 10 percent spike in sales last month. Toyota will see some recovery of market share with the recent introduction of its 2014 Corolla, but probably not enough to top last year’s market share. Honda’s new Accord is also putting pressure on sales performance of Toyota’s Camry, which is No. 1 in the full-sized sedan segment.