Toyota U.S. Sales Drop 30%

Truck and sport utility vehicle sales have taken the biggest hit

As a broad economic downturn took a massive bite out of auto sales, Toyota Motor reported a 29.5% drop in September U.S. sales.

The comapny has seen its sales fall 10.4% in the first nine months of the year to 1.8 million vehicles while September sales fell to 144,260 from 213,042 vehicles a year ago.

Truck and sport utility vehicle sales have taken the biggest hit as consumers shy away from gasoline guzzlers in the wake of high fuel costs. They were down 35.4% in September to 55,918 vehicles and off by 17.8% for the year to date at 685,179 vehicles.

But Toyota's smaller, more fuel efficient cars also took a hit, falling 25.1% in September to 88,342 vehicles and 5.2% so far this year to 1.1 million.

Even Toyota's popular gas-electric hybrid, the Prius, is waning as sales fell 9.3% in September to 10,873 and 4.8% to 130,561 for the year.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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