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Toyota U.S. Sales In January Up Nearly 27% - Update

Toyota Motor Corp. (TM) Friday reported a nearly 27 percent growth in U.S. vehicles sales in January, on strong demand for Prius series of hybrid cars, as well as for Corolla, pickup trucks Tacoma and Tundra, and a range of crossovers.

"The sales pace we saw in the fourth quarter of last year rolled into January, exceeding our expectations for the industry," said Bill Fay, Toyota Division group vice president and general manager, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

Toyota reported U.S. January sales of 157,725 units, compared with 124,540 units a year ago. The month had 25 selling days, a day more than last year.

The company, which recently regained its place as the world's leading automaker, joins other U.S. automakers in posting impressive growth in a sector that remains a bright spot on the economy.

At its eponymous Toyota division, total sales in January rose 26 percent from last year to 141,514 units, while Lexus division total sales jumped 32 percent to 16,211 units.

Toyota division car sales increased 24.4 percent to 84,121 units, as Corolla sales spiked 32.4 percent and Prius up 36.5 percent. Among smaller volume vehicles, Avalon, its all-new flagship sedan, jumped 50.4 percent, and Scion series improved 38.4 percent.

Lexus division car sales grew 60.7 percent to 9,752 units, on growth at ES, GS, and LS sedan series.

Toyota division truck sales grew 28.5 percent to 57,393 units. Growth was seen for pickup trucks Tacoma and Tundra, and crossovers Highlander, FJ Cruiser, Venza, 4Runner.

Lexus division truck sales rose 4 percent to 6,459 units.

Toyota Wednesday said it will recall more than 1.2 million cars in the U.S. for reasons ranging from airbag snags in Corolla vehicles and wiper problems with Lexus IS luxury cars. The company recently ousted U.S. rival General Motors Co. (GM) to regain its place as the world's top automaker, with total vehicle sales of about 9.75 million units.

Chrysler, majority owned by Fiat SpA (FIATY.PK), reported a 16 percent growth in U.S. sales in January, led by demand for its Dodge models. GM (GM) also gained 16 percent, on growth for Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra. Ford (F) sales were up 22 percent, on strong demand for subcompact, compact, and mid-size cars as well as for F-series pickups.

Toyota is trading at $98.19, up 2.96%.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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