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Toyota, Honda suffer from weak car deliveries

U.S. sales at the Honda brand in August totaled 140,178 vehicles, down 7.5 percent from a year earlier.

The declines in small and midsize car sales finally caught up to both Toyota and Honda in August.

Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. reported its August sales fell 8.8 percent from a year earlier to 224,381 vehicles, while American Honda Motor Co.’s sales dropped 6.9 percent to 155,491. Both companies suffered big declines in cars that negated increases in some light trucks.

Toyota and Scion brand sales combined slid 11 percent to 190,894, while Lexus sales gained 2.1 percent to 33,487.

The Toyota Camry, Prius, Avalon and all Scion models sustained sales declines of 14 percent or more. Corolla sales fell 4.1 percent. The lone Toyota-brand car with an increase was the Yaris -- up 64 percent, to 858 cars.

Scion is launching two new models, but it remains in free fall. August marked the 27th month in a row that its sales fell on a year-on-year basis.

Toyota brand’s light-truck sales, a strength for most of the year, declined 4.9percent as Tundra pickup sales fell 15 percent and RAV4 crossover sales dropped 14 percent, offsetting higher sales of the Tacoma pickup and Highlander SUV.

At Lexus, the main driver behind August’s sales gain was the new NX small crossover, with 4,448 units sold. Sales of its top-seller, the RX, fell 19 percent as dealers await the arrival of a redesigned 2016 RX.

American Honda’s sales showed similar trends, except that its luxury brand, Acura, suffered a setback. The automaker can take consolation in that August was still its sixth best month ever in the U.S. market and was its best month this year.

In August, the Honda brand sold 140,178 vehicles, down 7.5 percent from a year earlier. Accord sales fell 20 percent; Civic sales, 5.9 percent; and Fit sales, 52 percent. A redesigned Pilot SUV is on the way, but 2016 versions haven’t arrived in enough volume yet to drive that model’s sales, which fell 5.6 percent last month.

Sales of the CR-V edged up 2 percent, and the new HR-V small crossover had another solid month, with sales of 4,567 units. Odyssey sales were up 7.5 percent.

You can reach Neal E. Boudette at NBoudette@crain.com -- Follow Neal E. on Twitter: https://twitter.com/nealboudette

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