TORRANCE, Calif. (
said its May sales rose 6.7% in May, far less than the double digit sales increases reported by
as safety concerns continued to trouble the company.
Toyota said sales rose at the end of the month. The company also noted that fleet sales contributed substantial shares at its two major U.S. competitors, with fleet accounting for 38% of GM sales and for 32% of Ford sales.
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"Memorial Day weekend
was our best-selling weekend of the year," said Don Esmond, senior vice president of U.S. automotive operations for Toyota, in a prepared statement. "As Toyota maintains its leadership position as the No. 1 retail brand in the industry for the third consecutive month, we look forward to building this momentum."
While the Toyota division posted May sales of 140,597 units, an increase of 3.6% over the same month a year earlier, the Lexus division did not seem to be impacted by the concerns over sudden acceleration. Lexus reported May sales of 22,216 units, an increase of 31.3%.
During the Ford sales call, analyst George Pipas said overall U.S. industry sales rose 15% to 20% in May.
-- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C.