Toyota April U.S. Sales Remain Flat as Auto Industry Grows 18%

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A 50 mpg EPA window sticker is a distinct marketing advantage for Prius. A ten day supply is not.

Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A. today reported April sales results of 159,540 units, a decrease of 2.4% compared to the same period last year, on a daily selling rate (DSR) basis. On a raw volume basis, unadjusted for 27 selling days in April 2011 compared to 26 selling days in April 2010, TMS sales were up 1.3% over the year ago month. TMS remained solidly in third place in the U.S. though for the month, behind General Motors and Ford Motor.

The Toyota Division posted April total sales of 141,964 units, a decrease of 1.7% on a DSR basis from April 2010. On a raw volume basis, Toyota Division sales were up 2.1% over the year-ago month. The Lexus Division reported total sales of 17,576 units, down 7.8%
from April 2010, on a DSR basis. By volume, Lexus Division sales were down 4.3% from last April.

North American Toyota plants are currently running at 30% of the originally planned capacity and going forward inventories will continue to decline at least through the summer. Japanese plants are down this week for a holiday.

“If a customer places an order, we’ll find the car for them,” said Bob Carter, Toyota Division group vice president and general manager, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A.

Toyota is reducing sales incentives to compensate for potential lost revenue. At month end Toyota only had a 47 day supply of vehicles where 60 days is considered ideal.

Toyota Division

Toyota Division passenger cars recorded combined sales of 77,512 units, down 5.1% from April 2010 as supply problems started to take hold for Camry, Corolla and Prius. Passenger car sales were led by Camry and Camry Hybrid with combined sales of 30,443 units for the month, an increase of 5.0% year-over-year. Corolla reported combined April sales of 24,215 units, and the Prius mid-size gas-electric hybrid posted April sales of 12,477 units.

Toyota Division light trucks recorded April sales of 64,452 units, an increase of 2.7% compared to last year. Light truck sales were led by the RAV4 compact SUV with monthly sales of 15,586, an increase of 1.1% over April 2010. Highlander and Highlander Hybrid reported combined sales of 8,893 units, up 21.9% over the year-ago month, while the 4Runner midsize SUV recorded sales of 4,028 units. The Tacoma midsize pickup posted sales of 10,510 units, and increase of 7.6% over April 2010, and the Tundra full-size pickup reported sales of 8,312 units. The Sienna minivan recorded sales of 11,462, an increase of 27.0% year-over-year.

“We are encouraged by reports of production progress and extremely optimistic after solid monthly sales and strong showroom traffic,” said Carter. “An excellent final weekend in April leads us into May with healthy inventory levels and a wide selection of popular models.”

Scion posted April sales of 5,710 units, an increase of 53.7% over April 2010. The tC sports coupe led the way with sales of 2,674 units, up 119.9% year-over-year. The xB urban utility vehicle posted April sales of 1,831 units, an increase of 7.3% over the year-ago month. The xD reported sales of 1,205 units for the month, up 52.1% compared to the same period last year.

Lexus Division

Lexus reported passenger car sales of 8,453 units, down 17.8% from April 2010. The entry luxury sedan ES led Lexus passenger car sales with sales of 3,493 units, while the IS lineup reported combined sales of 2,640. The all-new CT 200h hybrid premium compact posted 875 units in its second month of sales as inventory problems arose.

Lexus light trucks recorded sales of 9,123 units, up 3.9% over April 2010. Lexus light truck sales were led by the RX luxury utility vehicle, which posted combined April sales of 7,802 units, flat compared to the same period last year. The GX midsize luxury utility vehicle reported sales of 1,019 units, an increase of 31.5% year-over-year. The LX 570 premium luxury utility vehicle recorded sales of 302 units, up 12.7% over the year-ago month.

TMS Hybrids

TMS posted April sales of 16,327 hybrid vehicles, a decrease of 8.8% compared to the same period last year. Toyota Division posted April sales of 13,967 hybrids, while Lexus Division reported sales 2,360 hybrids for the month.

About Ken Zino

Ken Zino is an auto industry veteran with global experience in print, broadcast and electronic media. He has auto testing, marketing, public relations and communications expertise garnered while working in Asia, Europe and the U.S.
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