Toyota sales jump 42% on car volume
Camry sales have now topped nearly 315,000 units for the year -- more than Toyota sold in all of 2011.
Rebounding Camry, Corolla and Prius sales enabled Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. to continue making up lost ground last month with a 42 percent sales gain over September 2011.
Distancing itself from a 2011 waylaid by a series of production interruptions, Toyota Division posted a 41 percent sales increase for the month, and Lexus Division improved by 36 percent.
Toyota Division sales, including Scion, totaled 151,524 cars and trucks in September, and Lexus reported sales of 20,386.
"Our dealers got off to a great start over Labor Day weekend, and that momentum carried through the rest of the month," said Bill Fay, Toyota Division group vice president, adding that fleet sales accounted for just 5.6 percent of the volume.
"Camry sales now total nearly 315,000 for the year, more than we sold in all of 2011," he said in a conference call today with reporters. "With gas prices hovering around $4 a gallon in many parts of the country, both Corolla and Prius are benefitting from buyers in search of improved fuel economy."
Prius sales more than doubled to 18,932 in September. Camry sales increased 38 percent to 34,252, and Corolla rose to 23,026, an 87 percent improvement over September 2011.
Toyota also reported major rebounds in the sale of the RAV4, up 80 percent over September 2011, and the Highlander crossover, which increased 45 percent.
Sales of Toyota's Tacoma and Tundra pickups increased substantially.
Through September, Toyota's share of the U.S. market was 14.4 percent, up 1.9 percentage points from the same period of 2011.
Fay said the automaker has ample inventories to keep up the sales pace through the end of the year.
"We're slowly gaining back some of what we lost over the last year or two," he said. "Hopefully we can continue to build on the momentum we have."
He added: "Buyers are responding to low financing options, and we'll be offering a wide range of zero percent and low interest rates loans in October. Camry leases will once again be available at less than $200 a month in most parts of the country."
On the Lexus side, sales of the volume-leading RX crossover improved by 41 percent and the redesigned ES posted an 81 percent gain in volume.
Tim Morrison, Lexus vice president for sales and dealer development, said the month was the brand's best September since 2007.
You can reach Lindsay Chappell at firstname.lastname@example.org.