Toyota regains foothold with increased 2012 February sales

Article by Anita Panait, on March 2, 2012

Flexing again its muscles, Toyota has three units all posting more than ten percent increases in February 2012 year-on-year sales.  Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. posted a 12-percent hike in February year-on-year sales to 159,423 vehicles, while Toyota Division soared 11 percent and Lexus Division jumped 21 percent.

February 2012 marks the fourth straight monthly gain for Toyota, after suffering from six straight shortfalls in 2011, following the March earthquake-tsunami disasters in Japan. For the Toyota brand, the best-sellers were the redesigned Camry, with a 27 percent sales hike, and the Prius line, with a 52 percent increase.

Sales of Toyota's hybrid-vehicle sales soared by 63 percent, which, according to Toyota Division General Manager Bob Carter, echoes consumer sensitivity to rapidly increasing gasoline prices. "Camry outsold Chevy Silverado. That's not the first time that's happened, but it's an indication of where consumer mind-set is," said Carter adding the day’s supply of the Prius is now in the mid-20s and growing.

Sales of the Toyota Corolla, meanwhile, dived, but still managed to reach figures of over 22,000 units. Carter noted that the lower sales volume turnout for the Corolla, RAV4 and Tacoma was greatly affected by the muffled inventory caused by March 2011 earthquake in Japan. Carter revealed that the company currently has 30 days’ supply of Corolla by end of February, but expect the inventory to shot up to mid-40s this month.

To further boost its sales, Toyota Division will launch a national sales event, featuring a zero-percent financing on Avalon, Tundra, Venza, RAV4, Highlander and Sienna. The event will also feature lease deals across the board on "almost everything” that is in Toyota’s lineup. Lexus, meanwhile, did an impressive job in February by outselling German rival Mercedes-Benz in the luxury car segment.

The refreshed GS sedan, which has been sitting at bottom of the sales chart, became the number three top-seller among all Lexus model. Suffering from the low inventories caused by the quake was the Lexus RX 350 crossover, which year-on-year dropped 12 percent, but its monthly sales went up 10 percent from January.

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