Filed under: Sedan , Hyundai , Toyota When does a mid-size sedan become a top-notch competitor to the Toyota Camry ? The answer is apparently whenever said competitor begins stealing market share from America’s top-selling sedan. Bloomberg reports that Toyota North America Chairman Yoshimi Inaba called the Hyundai Sonata “a very honorable contender in the market” during an interview earlier this week. Inaba adds that Toyota has great respect for the strong-selling Hyundai, and we’re guessing they’re not the only automaker keeping an ever closer eye on Camp Hyundai. Sales of the Sonata soared by 35 percent in 2010 to 196,623 units. Meanwhile, 2010 Camry sales dropped by 31 percent to 327,804 units. To make matters worse for Toyota and the Camry, supply disruptions stemming from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami have further hurt Camry sales while the Sonata continues to attract new buyers. In fact, the Sonata outsold the Camry in May, in part because of Toyota’s production issues. But while the Sonata has been gaining on the Camry, that trend could reverse itself with an all-new Camry set to arrive later this year. Toyota President Akio Toyoda already told U.S.
Filed under: Car Buying , Japan , Hyundai , Kia , Lexus , Toyota If forecasts from TrueCar.com are accurate, Hyundai and Kia will be the only automakers to post sales gains in the month of May. Mildly interesting news in itself, but the real shocking nugget is that the Korean conglomerate is expected to pass Toyota (including its Lexus luxury brand) as the third-best-selling automaker in the United States. Surely there are multiple reasons why Toyota and Lexus sales are expected to drop in May (when compared to April, 2011 and May of 2010), but parts and inventory shortages stemming from the devastating earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan are front and center. Credit also goes to Hyundai and Kia for the dramatic gains they have made on their Japanese and American competitors in the last few years, both in sales and in consumer perception. That said, Toyota seems likely to rebound in the coming months, so it will be an interesting exercise to follow the sales charts. When all the numbers finally come in, TrueCar.com expects the month of May to show an eight-percent drop in sales from April. As you would expect, shortages of cars imported from Japan is partly to blame, but lowered incentives from all automakers is also cited as a contributing factor. Hyundai/Kia will likely top Toyota/Lexus for No. 3 sales spot in May originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 31 May 2011 16:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .