Sept. 4 (Bloomberg) -- Toyota Motor Corp., the world’s biggest carmaker, expects to report a 20 percent retail sales gain in the U.S. in August for its namesake brand as auto demand recovers to the strongest since 2007.
The anticipated increase, excluding sales to fleets and premium Lexus models, was led by Prius hybrids and the Camry sedan, Carly Schaffner, a company spokeswoman, said late yesterday. Toyota and other automakers release detailed results later today. The Toyota City, Japan-based company may report a 15 percent increase in U.S. deliveries, according to the average estimate of seven analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News.
On a volume basis, “it should be the best August for the industry in six years,” Schaffner said. “While we’ve seen fluctuations in some economic indicators, the overall strength of the U.S. auto industry has remained consistent.”
Rising deliveries for Toyota, battling to keep Camry the top-selling U.S. car for a 12th consecutive year, mirror strength across the industry as U.S. consumers buy new cars and trucks at a pace not seen since the 2008 recession. LMC Automotive, an industry forecaster, predicts August will be the best month for industrywide deliveries since May 2007.
The annualized industry sales rate, adjusted for seasonal trends, may climb to 15.8 million, the average of 17 estimates, from 14.5 million a year earlier. That keeps auto demand on pace for the highest annual total in six years.
Toyota in August 2012 reported total U.S. sales of 188,520 Toyota, Scion and Lexus cars and trucks. This year through July, the carmaker’s U.S. volume grew 7.5 percent, slower than the industry’s 8.5 percent expansion in the same period.
Among the biggest brands in the U.S., Honda Motor Co. may report the largest increase for August, with sales up 20 percent, the average estimate of seven analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
“That’s good guidance,” Robyn Eagles, a Honda spokeswoman, said without elaborating.
Tom Doll, president of Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd.’s U.S. Subaru unit, yesterday told Bloomberg News the brand may report its best-ever sales for August.
“We’re certainly expecting a terrific August, just like we had in July,” Doll said on Bloomberg Television’s “Market Makers.” “My guess is we’re going to be somewhere north of 40,000, which for us is a big month,” he said.
Fuji Heavy is partly owned by Toyota.
Toyota has said it expects to sell at least 400,000 Camrys in the U.S. this year and stay ahead of competitors including Honda’s Accord, Nissan Motor Co.’s Altima and Ford Motor Co.’s Fusion sedan. The company also has a goal for 2013 to sell a record 250,000 Prius models in the hybrid line’s biggest market.
Toyota’s U.S. sales unit is based in Torrance, California. The company’s American depositary receipts rose 2.9 percent to $124.30 at the close in New York yesterday. They’ve gained 33 percent this year, compared with an 11 percent rise for the NYSE Composite Index.
--With assistance from Craig Trudell in Southfield, Michigan, and Erik Schatzker and Stephanie Ruhle in New York. Editors: Dave McCombs, Terje Langeland