Toyota Motor posted a 11.4% drop in U.S. sales in July, but said its vehicle sales hit a new monthly high for the year with the help of a government-funded incentive program.
The wildly popular "Cash for Clunkers" program, which pays consumers to trade gasoline-guzzlers for more fuel efficient vehicles, has provided a major boon for the auto industry which is reeling from a collapse in sales to levels not seen in decades.
"Beyond the tangible economic stimulus, the positive environmental benefits of the CARS program is clear to see," said Toyota Motor Sales USA president Jim Lentz. "The program is achieving its goal of increasing fuel efficiency."
Toyota estimates that it managed to "save customers an estimated eight million gallons of gas and $20 million in gas spending over the next year" as a result of just seven days of sales related to the incentive program.
Toyota's sales were down 11.4% to 174,872 in July and were down 33.9% to 945,321 for the year to date.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009