That Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. has fully recovered after the impact of the earthquake last year is all the more evident after having had sales of over 200,000 vehicles in May. This is just the third month that this level was reached after the cash-for-clunkers program in 2009. Last month’s sales were 87% higher year over year.
However, comparisons may be somewhat misleading because last year’s results were affected by shortages in the inventory due to the earthquake. Bob Carter, Toyota Division general manager, said that Toyota’s May results were strong even when considering just the raw figures.
He said that Toyota vehicles had the fastest sales pace since the prerecession days of August 2008. This doesn’t include the cash-for-clunkers event.
In May, Toyota had sales of almost 40,000 Camrys, keeping the mid-sized sedan as the top-selling car in the U.S. Most of the increase was due to young consumers who bought the Camry SE trim level. Carter said it now makes up about 40% of Camry volume.
The overall Camry SE average buyer age is now at 45 years old, offering Camry a reduced average buyer age to 51 models from 58. The C sold nearly 32,000, nearly enough to outperform the segment-topping Honda Civic, even if the Corolla is deep into its model cycle and is displaying its age.
The RAV4 crossover, which is the last Toyota vehicle to recover from quake inventory shortages, is back in full swing, Toyota’s sales in the U.S. have grown 24% as the overall market increased by 13% this year. Toyota's U.S. market increased 14.5%, from 13.3%. Its volume and market share growth are coming mostly from conquest customers.