A surge in light-truck sales allowed Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. to recover from decline in May with a 4.1% rise in June. For the entire year, the industry has benefited from a climb in pickup, SUV, minivan and crossover sales, which grew 18% in June, offsetting a 6.2% drop in car sales. A total of 209,912 Toyota vehicles were sold in June.
Bill Fay, Toyota Division general manager, said that because of light trucks, the industry has achieved its best first half since 2005. The automaker said that Toyota Division sold 179,953 units in June, earning it a 3.7% increase in sales and pushing it to become the No. 1 retail brand for the month.
In particular, its light-truck deliveries climbed by 17%. Among the best-performing models are the Toyota Highlander crossover with a 20% rise; the 4Runner SUV with a 43% increase; and the outdated Tacoma midsize pickup that is set to be replaced in a few months, with a 31% climb.
But similar to what other automakers are experiencing, light-truck sales have cut into the cars segment. The midsize Toyota Camry had an 8% decline in June. Fay said that this was due to the changing preferences of consumers. Fay told reporters that the Camry appears to have felt the impact of a trend favouring light trucks.
Yaris was the only Toyota car that reported an increase in June. The subcompact hatchback had a 113% increase in sales in June compared to the same month the previous year, continuing its strong growth since March 2015. Other models that declined were Corolla, Camry, Avalon and Prius. Kelley Blue Book senior analyst Karl Brauer said that in June, Toyota “perfectly reflected industry trends” as almost all trucks and SUVs were up while nearly all cars were down.
In addition, Lexus depended on light trucks for majority of its 11% increase in sales over June 2014, with 26,121 vehicles sold in June 2015. Lexus’ car lineup went up slightly by 0.2%, as the midsize GS and full-size LS were able to offset a sudden drop in the deliveries of the CT hybrid hatchback and the ES compact sedan.
Lexus’ light trucks increased by 25%, mainly due to the all-new NX compact crossover and the GX midsize SUV. Meanwhile, a 14% drop was recorded for the RX crossover, which will get a replacement soon. The Scion brand was able to cut some of its losses from the previous month.
The 17% decrease in June (with just 3,838 units sold) is still better than the 22% decline in May. Brauer believes that as Toyota’s overall sales have evened out, it has entered a “stable volume” that when combined with other major auto producers, should add up to about 17 million in annual sales for 2015.