Lexus up 19% but Scion slips 18%

Toyota Motor advances 12% for best July in 7 years

Lexus up 19% but Scion slips 18%

RAV4 sales jumped 37 percent in July to an all-time monthly record of 26,779. Toyota could have sold more RAV4s if it had had them.
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Sales at Toyota Motor Sales rose 12 percent in July from a year earlier to 215,802 vehicles, for the automaker’s best July sales in seven years as core models posted big gains.

The results easily topped July’s industrywide sales gain of 9 percent.

Toyota said it also held onto the industry’s retail sales crown last month. July was also the third straight month in which the company’s sales topped 200,000, the automaker’s first such streak in six years, the company said.

It also outsold Ford by 4,335 units during the month.

“Rising consumer confidence, coupled with momentum in the marketplace, boosted auto sales in July,” Bill Fay, Toyota Division general manager, said in a statement. “Led by an all-time record month for RAV4 and double-digit gains for both Camry and Corolla, Toyota was the No. 1 retail brand.”

Core models grew

Strong demand for Toyota’s core models drove volume at the Toyota Division, which includes Scion, up 11 percent to 188,469. Camry sales gained 15 percent to 39,888, and Corolla deliveries grew 26 percent to 30,833.

RAV4 sales jumped 37 percent in July to an all-time monthly record of 26,779. Fay said Toyota could have sold more RAV4s if it had had them.

The overall gains masked an 18 percent drop in Scion sales to 5,127. Every Scion model posted lower sales last month.

Prius sales also fell, 11 percent to 20,675, as gasoline prices posted their largest July decline in six years.

Lexus sales grew 19 percent to 27,333, which Lexus Division General Manager Jeff Bracken said was the brand’s best July ever, with six of the brand’s eight nameplates posting gains. July’s rise marked the brand’s 10th straight monthly sales gain.

The IS compact luxury sedan continued to roll after roughly a year since it was redesigned. IS sales grew 25 percent to 4,542, and the RX crossover, Lexus’ top seller, recorded sales of 9,658, a 14 percent gain.

More gains ahead

In a conference call, Fay said the industry’s overall strength, combined with positive economic indicators, suggest the industry could keep up its strong momentum.

“With the most recent economic indicators showing the recovery was even stronger in the second quarter than anyone expected, and with consumer confidence at a seven-year high and monthly jobless claims at near record-low levels, there’s every reason to believe the auto industry can maintain these levels in the months ahead,” Fay said.

Fay said Toyota’s momentum should continue in August following its largest wholesale month in almost two years. The company is also offering sweeter incentives in August through its annual clearance sale event, including 0 percent financing on 14 nameplates. The sale will continue through Labor Day.

Bracken said Lexus will continue to run its Golden Opportunity sales event that began last month through Labor Day.

You can reach Ryan Beene at rbeene@crain.com. -- Follow Ryan on Twitter


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