LOS ANGELES — For the first time since the January recall frenzy connected to allegations of runaway vehicles, Toyota says its conquest ratios have returned to historical levels, Automotive News reported.

Typically, about 45 percent of Toyota sales come from shoppers who had been driving a Toyota, Scion or Lexus vehicle, with 55 percent captured from competing brands, said Bob Carter, Toyota Division general manager. When complaints of unintended acceleration intensified in January, Toyota's conquest ratio dipped below 50 percent, Carter said

In July, Toyota said, that trend reversed, with 57 percent of Toyota sales coming from rival brands.

“July was the first month where we went back to normal trade-in cycle,” Carter said. “Again we were the leader in retail sales, with retail sales up 17 percent from June. Camry once again is the top-selling car for the year.”

As a result of that gain in conquest sales, Carter expects Toyota's overall share to grow 2 percentage points in July, to 16.1 percent.

Part of those gains might be from bargain hunters eyeing Toyota's relatively high incentives, which will continue into August, Carter said.

Although Toyota's incentive spending in July was down from second-quarter levels – an all-time high for Toyota – the automaker's discounts are still $450 per unit higher than last year, according to edmunds.com.

Toyota's U.S. sales are up 8 percent year-to-date, to 1.02 million units, in an overall market that has climbed 15 percent.

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