Business

Japan carmakers' sales in US rise led by Toyota's Camry

Toyota dealership in California
Image caption Toyota lost its position as the world's biggest carmaker to General Motors last year

Japanese carmakers have reported a jump in their US sales boosted by new models and the restoration of supply chains.

Toyota Motors saw its sales increase by 7.5% in January from a year earlier, helped largely by a 56% surge in sales of the new Camry.

Honda Motors reported a 9% jump, while Nissan's sales rose by more than 10%.

Natural disasters in Japan and Thailand last year had resulted in supply chain disruptions, hurting production and sales of Japanese cars in the US.

Overall US car sales jumped almost 20% in January raising hopes of a recovery in the sector.

"For the first time in several years, we are starting the year off with a warm and fuzzy feeling," said Jesse Toprak from TrueCar.com.

'Gratifying'

The disasters had seen Japanese carmakers suspend or curb production at their domestic as well as international production facilities in wake of a shortfall in parts.

The reduced production resulted in fewer cars being available for sale and longer waiting periods for some customers in key markets such as the US.

Honda motors said the restoration of its supply chain and its production facilities had helped it get the customers back in the showrooms.

"It's gratifying to see how many Civics we can sell when we actually have Civics to sell," said John Mandel, American Honda sales chief.

Analysts said sales are likely to increase further as carmakers ramp up their production and introduce new models in a bid to attract customers.

"It will be a great time to be a consumer going into 2012," said David Whiston an auto equity analyst with Morningstar.