Monthly U.S. sales from Toyota shot up 87% year-over-year as the company rebounded from the earthquake and tsunami that hammered Japanese factories and slowed production last year.
U.S. sales by Toyota in May totaled 202,973 units in May.
This was in part because of last year's slowdown in production because of the disasters that hit Japan.
“Last year, the earthquakes hit in March, and May is when everything started to tank,” said Jessica Caldwell, an analyst at Edmunds, an automotive information company in Santa Monica.
Toyota sold 21,477 Prius hybrids last month, compared to 6,924 in May 2011. Its Camry sales increased 94% to 39,571.
“Even without the easy year-over-year comps, Toyota would’ve done pretty well,” Caldwell said.
U.S. auto sales were strong overall in May, with Ford, Chrysler, General Motors and Volkswagen posting double-digit sales gains over last year despite indications of a weak job market.
Analysts cited overall pent-up demand and loosening credit for the pick-up in sales.
Honda, which also suffered from the Japanese disasters, sold 133,997 units, an increase of 47.6% compared to May 2011.
John Mendel, American Honda's executive vice president of sales, said in a press release that the company's recovery is in high-gear, "irrespective of last year’s production supply problems."