TOKYO— Toyota Motor Corp.’s decision to build a chip pool for its cars paid off, elevating it above the perennial leader General Motors Co. in the US for the first time.
But the Japanese automaker, whose American dealerships have supply problems of their own, isn’t bothering about its win over Detroit.
Between April and June, Toyota sold 688,813 vehicles in the US, giving it a 577-unit margin of victory over GM, according to figures from the two companies. It was the first time that a Japanese automaker was ranked No. 1 in the US, according to car buying website Edmunds.com, and it came as the politically sensitive US trade deficit is widening.
“Toyota believes this was an unusual case due to production limitations and other factors,” said spokeswoman Shino Yamada. She called it a “short-term event for this quarter.”
Toyota bet before most automakers in a recovering American car market. As a result, the company cut production and parts orders less sharply than the competition, better preparing it for the current increase. But even Toyota wasn’t fully prepared for the car buying frenzy.