Toyota Motor Corp’s first-quarter sales surged 22% from a year earlier in North America, signaling a healthy recovery from when Covid-19 shutdowns kept car buyers at home.
Sales rise to 603,066 vehicles in the quarter, the Japanese automaker said. March sales jumped a gaudy 87% to almost 254,000, Toyota said in separate release, but that compares with a month when consumers had all but abandoned showrooms. Still, Toyota’s performance presages a strong start to the year for carmakers, who are expected to post a quarterly sales gain of 8%, according to analysts. Toyota’s sales were 11% more than in the first quarter of 2019 — a clear sign that consumers are in a buying mood.
The carmaker sold its most profitable vehicles in strong numbers. Deliveries of Toyota and Lexus trucks and sport utility vehicles surged more than 30% in quarter, while those for passenger cars rose just 6.4% against weak figures last year.