Ford and General Motors reported sales declines in July, but they were not alone.
 
Toyota sales in both the U.S. and Japan were down, too.
 
In fact, Toyota’s Japanese market sales for the first six months of the year were down a full ten percent from a year earlier. That’s not good news for Toyota, which introduced seven new models in the home market in that period. The sales decline is being attributed to an aging population in Japan, but it has also lead t appointment of a new head of sales in Japan, though still a member of the founding Toyoda family.
 
The U.S. market wasn’t much better. Though sales for the half were up for Ford, GM and Toyota – Toyota’s by 9 percent – the immediate trend was downward. July sales in the States were down 7.3% in July from a year earlier – not as bad as GM’s 22 percent drop or the 19 percent at Ford, but a pretty significant decline, nonetheless.
 
It was China, Europe (with a 14% sales gain for the half) and currency exchange rates that saved Toyota. Despite the sales drop, its income for the quarter rose 23 percent, to $3.84 billion.
 
Toyota’s performance contrasts with that of rival Nissan, which saw a 16% decline in profit for the same period.
 
Toyota will officially report its earnings on August 3rd.
 
Japan is considered to have the most rapidly aging population of any industrialized nation. As a consequence, it is difficult for Japanese automakers to maintain sales in the home market, much less increase them. This has put pressure on all Japanese automakers, including Honda. For the year, the price of Toyota stock is down 11 percent, Honda is down 11 percent, as well, and Nissan’s stock price is down 13 percent.
 
So. It’s not just the Detroit Three that have been having a bad day. So, too, have even the Japanese car companies.

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