Just when Detroit seemed to be luring them away, Americans are embracing Japanese cars again.
Toyota and Honda lost ground last year after the Japanese earthquake limited their supplies. But July's U.S. sales show they've nearly regained what they lost, at the expense of GM and Ford.
GM sales fell 6 percent and Ford sales were down 4 percent compared with last July. Honda's sales were up 45 percent and Toyota jumped 26 percent. Overall car and truck sales rose 9 percent to 1.15 million, according to Autodata Corp.
"Toyota and Honda have regained all of the share they lost, and much faster than we thought they would," said Jesse Toprak, vice president of market intelligence for the car buying site TrueCar.com. "Their customers appear to be a lot more loyal than we gave them credit for."
Toprak and others thought that newer, better products at GM and Ford, like the Chevrolet Cruze and Ford Focus small cars, might permanently pull customers away from the Japanese after the earthquake disrupted their supplies.
Toyota had virtually no Prius hybrids to sell last summer, for example.
The government of Japan has bestowed one of that nation's highest honors on a Japanese-American, a former U.S. Soldier and World War II veteran, for his work furthering relationships between the Japanese and Americans. (army.mil )
This Monday, members of the seminal metal band X Japan were in Odaiba rubbing shoulders with the likes of Brad Pitt, Lady Gaga and AKB48′s Yuko Oshima. The catch? They were all made out of wax. (Japan Times )