Toyota Surge Hurts Every Other Automaker: Analyst
Toyota shares trade in the U.S. as American depository shares. The yen's strength is a negative here, although Levy wrote that "translation effects for ADS holders will somewhat limit (its) net negative impact."
On the plus side, "We expect higher industry volume, full production capacity and new vehicle launches to help sales rebound nearly 19% in fiscal year 2013," Levy wrote. "Despite industry challenges in Europe and slowing economic growth in some regions, with the Japanese and Thailand crises now behind (Toyota), we expect its valuation will benefit from what see as the company's favorable long-term growth prospects and strong balance sheet."
Libby noted that Lexus has also been gathering strength in the luxury segment. "Lexus's core strength remains the midsize premium crossover RX Series; this model alone accounted for close to half of all Lexus deliveries in May," he wrote. "RX sales were up 82% from a year ago, and the RX by itself out-distanced all three of BMW's crossovers, the X3, X5 and X6, by 53%; the RX also out-sold the redesigned Mercedes-Benz ML-Class by more than 200%. With its huge owner body, frequent redesigns and competitive pricing, the RX remains the undisputed leader in the premium crossover space."
As for new products, the new Camry and Lexus GS as well as the Prius V and C are already showing gains.
"By the end of the 2013, we will see redesigned versions of the Toyota RAV4, Tacoma, Highlander, Avalon, Corolla and Sequoia as well as the Lexus ES and LS and Scion xb and xD," Libby wrote, adding: "It might be easier to just list the models which are not being re-designed."
Polk projected that Toyota and Lexus will account for 12.9% and 1.6%, respectively, of the U.S. new vehicle market in 2012, increasing to 13.8% and 2.0% in 2015, when "Toyota will be the most popular make in the country and Lexus number three in the premium market."
-- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C.
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