Toyota’s Worldwide Sales Inch Higher on China, U.S. Demand

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Toyota Motor Corp.’s global sales rose 2% in September from a year earlier, signaling car demand is starting to recover despite the continued spread of the coronavirus in many major markets.

Worldwide sales rose to 837,049 units in September, the first month of year-on-year growth in nine months, the Japanese automaker said in an emailed statement Thursday. Sales jumped 16% in the U.S., bolstered by demand for RAV4 and Lexus models, and 25% in China, where the recent auto show in Beijing helped draw people into exhibition rooms.

President Akio Toyoda has vowed that Toyota will remain profitable, even as Covid-19 dents consumer spending. The company squeezed out an operating profit of 13.9 billion yen ($133 million) in the quarter ended June 30 and has maintained its forecast for a full-year profit. Toyota is set to announce earnings for the quarter ended Sept. 30 next week.

Increased visibility of an earnings recovery should support Toyota’s share price in the near term, Credit Suisse Group AG analyst Masahiro Akita wrote in a report last month. “The company could raise its earnings projection earlier than its peers when it announces second-quarter results,” Akita said.

Toyota’s shares have fallen 11% this year and were little changed Thursday. Group-wide sales, which include Daihatsu and Hino, slipped 0.8% from a year earlier in September.

Separately, Honda Motor Co. said its worldwide sales rose from the year-earlier month for the first time in 13 months. Nissan Motor Co.’s worldwide sales fell 13% to 388,395 units in September, an improvement from the previous month’s 23% year-on-year decrease.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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