Japan sales of the Toyota brand jumped 50.7 percent from the previous year in March, an industry group said Thursday, despite the carmaker being hit by mass global safety recalls this year.
Toyota sold 204,514 vehicles last month compared with 135,700 a year earlier, the Japan Automobile Dealers Association said, adding that sales of its luxury Lexus brand cars nearly tripled to 4,919 units.
The rise is widely attributed to the fact that the March figure includes orders for the popular petrol-electric Prius hybrid that the carmaker received months in advance, before the recall crisis.
The monthly Japan sales figure for the Toyota brand does not include sales of subsidiaries Hino and Daihatsu Motors. The firm will release its US figures later Thursday.
The world’s largest automaker in terms of revenue pulled some 8.5 million vehicles worldwide to fix problems with sticky gas pedals and unintended acceleration which have been blamed for 58 deaths in the United States.
The figure was also in line with a recovery in the broader auto industry which saw sales of new cars, trucks and buses increase by 37.2 percent in March from a year earlier, helped by government subsidies and tax incentives.