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Toyota loses share of NY market

Scion xD

Scion xD Photo Credit: Wieck Media

Although it’s still this area’s second favorite brand after Honda, Toyota is losing ground in the New York region — just as in the rest of the country — at least partly because of the recalls of millions of its vehicles for a seemingly unending series of problems.

New figures prepared for the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association show that Toyota and its youth-aimed Scion brand lost four tenths of a point of market share in the region this year through October.

Registrations of Toyota/Scion vehicles actually rose in the region this year from last, by 1.7 percent, but registrations of almost every other brand rose by more as the region's market improved by 13 percent. Pictured above is a Scion xD.

As pointed out in a recent Detroit Free Press article, Toyota is losing ground everywhere. “The Japanese automaker is playing defense as sales slump, dealer inventories swell — even for the Camry and Prius — and consumers demand larger discounts to remain loyal to the brand once viewed as unstoppable,” the newspaper wrote.

It’s fairly easy to determine by examining the regional figures, where many would-be Toyota purchasers are spending their money; Hyundai gained an entire point of market share, with a 37.4 percent increase in new registrations in the region this year through October compared with a year earlier. Other market share gainers: Ford, Subaru and Volkswagen. 

But what is statistically the region’s favorite brand — Honda —  also lost market share — with no major recalls or other negative news to turn off customers. The difference between Honda and Toyota is that Honda scored a big gain in registrations: 11 percent. But it still lost three tenths of a point of share.

Honda’s New York spokesman, Chris Naughton, told Newsday recently that comparisons with last year look unimpressive in part because Honda had a pretty good 2009 compared with the rest of the industry. “We were not down as much as the industry as a whole so in making a comparison now, we might not be up as much as the others,” he said.

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