Toyota advances 3% as cars set pace

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Editor's note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly described the change in the Toyota division's light-truck sales in June and year-to-date through June, and the change in the Toyota division's sales volume in June and year-to-date through June.

Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. posted a 3 percent increase in U.S. sales in June, marked by significant gains from cars at the Toyota and Lexus brands.

Toyota’s car sales advanced 5 percent last month from June 2013 with two stalwarts -- the Corolla and Camry -- posting double-digit gains.

Corolla volume rose 17 percent to 30,945 units in June, while Camry deliveries rose 13 percent to 40,664 units, helping it remain the top-selling car and best-selling mid-sized sedan this year.

Even with strong car sales in June, demand for the Prius line of hybrids fell 12 percent to 18,649 units and remains off 11 percent for the year.

Light-truck sales, a strong point for the Toyota brand this year, were flat in June but remain up 9 percent year-to-date. The RAV4 led Toyota light trucks in sales volume with deliveries of 21,589 units, up 5 percent from June 2013.

Overall, the Toyota Division’s U.S. sales, including Scion, rose 3 percent to 178,196, its best June in seven years. Without Scion, Toyota division volume rose 4 percent to 173,584 units in June.

Toyota Division Vice President Bill Fay said a strong start to the summer sales season helped the automaker outperform expectations in June.

“We were very bullish about June, July and August,” Fay said today. “June just ended up being a little stronger than everyone” predicted.

Just three of Lexus’ seven nameplates posted sales increases in June, but IS volume more than doubled in June to 3,932 units. In June, sales of the GS slipped 13 percent to 1,511 units, and LS demand dropped 16 percent to 582 units.

Lexus is counting on another boost in U.S. sales when the NX baby crossover reaches U.S. showrooms late this year.

The NX 200t, which is already on sale in Japan, should appeal to young luxury buyers looking for an entry-level model, said Jeff Bracken, Lexus’ vice president.

The NX 200t “should assume a leadership role,” he added, in the Lexus lineup.

Toyota Motor Corp.’s year-to-date U.S. sales have climbed 5 percent to 1.166 million units, outpacing the industry’s overall gain of 4 percent. Toyota Division sales have increased 4 percent to 996,282 units, while Lexus volume jumped 17 percent to 138,689 units. Scion volume has slid 13 percent to 30,636 units.

You can reach Nora Naughton at nnaughton@crain.com.


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