Ford Motor Co. has been the perennial No. 2 carmaker in the United States, but in February 2015 it was topped by a Japanese carmaker. That month, Toyota Motor Corp. outsold Ford -- 180,467 light vehicles (up 13 percent) vs. Ford’s 179,673 units. Toyota’s surge were driven by the RAV4 small crossover (up 33 percent to 21,943 units), the midsize 4Runner SUV (plus 38 percent to 6,420 units), and Lexus’ two crossovers.
Toyota estimated that overall, the auto industry sold 5.3 percent more light vehicles in February to 1.26 million light vehicles. The Toyota brand’s sales gains were led double-digit growth at the RAV4, Corolla, Camry, Avalon, Sienna and Tacoma. The brand’s truck sales grew 17 percent while Toyota Division’s car sales, including Scion, jumped 7.9 percent.
Scion, however, declined 15 percent to 3,864 units. Boosted by the new NX small crossover, Lexus was able to sell 22-percent more vehicles to 22,995 cars and trucks, 2,666 of which were NXs. Lexus also sold 14 percent more RX in the month to 6,490 units.
Jeff Bracken, Lexus brand general manager, remarked that the NX continues to exceed their targets, adding that a large portion of NX buyers are new to the Lexus brand and are younger than typical Lexus customers.
Toyota also indicated that it would accelerate its sales growth this month as it rolls out a national marketing blitz to open the spring selling season. “This is one of our four national sales events of the year,” remarked Bill Fay, Toyota Division sales manager.
According to Fay, the Toyota Division would offer low interest rates and favorable lease deals, adding that the unit has around a 50-day supply of vehicles to ensure dealers have enough supplies through the March event.