Toyota on Tuesday said it would not raise its car prices to help US rivals, breaking with its chairman’s comments a day earlier that voluntary price increases and other steps were in order to help restore health to the US motor industry.
“Our basic stance is that prices are something for the market to determine,” a spokesman told Reuters, adding: “We are not thinking about changing (vehicle) prices in order to help the US auto industry.”
The news agency noted that Japanese brands collectively grabbed a record 30% share of the US auto market last year, and some executives have become more sensitive about how their companies’ success would play out at the political level.
At the annual motor show in Detroit earlier this year, Toyota president Fujio Cho and Honda Motor chief executive Takeo Fukui said Japanese brands’ expansion in the United States should not go unchecked, with Fukui volunteering that the combined share should be kept under 40%, Reuters added.
A top Honda executive reportedly mirrored Toyota’s official stance that raising car prices to help the competition in North America was out of the question.
“I realise that GM, as well as Ford, are suffering financially, but that doesn’t mean you ignore the customer and raise your prices,” he said at a news conference, according to Reuters.