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January car sales highlights: Toyota shrinks, Honda improves, Hyundai surprises

Now that the majority of car makers have posted their January car sales numbers, we can take a closer look at the shifts that have occurred.

Now that the majority of car makers have posted their January car sales numbers, we can take a closer look at the shifts that have occurred.

Of the major manufacturers, Toyota was the largest to fall behind. The Japanese automaker’s January car deliveries dropped 17% in comparison to the same time last year. The brand has struggled with its vehicle supply longer than others, placing it at a disadvantage compared to the rest of the industry.

Most other automakers, however, reported gains in their January car sales. Honda noted its sales had grown 14%, and that its current vehicle supply was twice what it had been last year. Ford’s sales rose 1.8%, while its deliveries rose by an estimated 11%. Hyundai and Kia were last month’s biggest winners. The former grew its year-over-year sales by 8.6% while the latter’s improved by 22%.

The shifts in automaker success reflect easing sentiments on the auto market, while also suggesting that the industry is not out of the weeds yet. While threats of an economic recession loom and geopolitical tensions still pose a threat to international supply chains, the general strength of January car sales is evidence that production output has substantially recovered.

Consumer finances, however, promise to impede a full normalization anytime soon. High prices, interest rate hikes and expensive loan payments have suppressed demand. Although industry-wide January sales numbers show improvements to production, automakers and dealers have yet to fully alleviate the pressure on customer wallets, which has and will continue to prohibit the market’s recovery. If the auto industry hopes to nurture demand again, it will need to battle the monetary issues facing buyers first.

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Colin Velez
Colin Velez
Colin Velez is a staff writer/reporter for CBT News. After obtaining his bachelor’s in Communication from Kennesaw State University in 2018, he kicked off his writing career by developing marketing and public relations material for various industries, including travel and fashion. Throughout the next four years, he developed a love for working with journalists and other content creators, and his passion eventually led him to his current position. Today, Colin writes news content and coordinates stories with auto-industry insiders and entrepreneurs throughout the U.S.

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