Toyota March U.S. Sales Down 36.6%

The Lexus brand dropped 40%

Newly crowned world's largest automaker Toyota said on April 2 that its March U.S. sales fell 36.6% to 132,802 vehicles from the same month last year.

With month-over-month sales comparisons providing a more realistic indication of current market conditions, Toyota said its sales in March posted a 16.3% increase over February.

Toyota Motor Sales USA said that its Toyota division posted March sales of 118,563 units while its Lexus Division reported sales of 14,239 units, a decrease of 40.6% from the year-ago month.

General Motors was eclipsed by Toyota as the world's largest automaker for the first time in 77 years, based on 2008 figures. Reeling from plunging sales at home and abroad amid a sharp economic downturn, GM sold 8.35 million vehicles globally in 2008 compared with the Japanese rival's 8.97 million.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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