LOS ANGELES -- Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. sales fell by 1 percent in April, with 176,160 units sold.
Sales at the Toyota Division declined by 2 percent to 158,069 units while volumes at Lexus increased 3 percent to 18,091 vehicles sold.
Toyota claimed it was the No. 1 retail brand for the second consecutive month and for the overall year.
"There is still plenty of pent-up demand," Bill Fay, Toyota Division general manager, said during a conference call. "Customers are taking advantage of low finance rates. We expect the industry to outperform the general economy."
For May, Toyota Division is continuing its incentives push with a "Toyota Time" sales event. Although incentives are doled out on a regional basis, every core Toyota vehicle line will have offer low APR and lease incentives, Fay said.
The 10 percent decline in Toyota-badged cars was led by the Camry, which posted a 14 percent decline in sales to 31,710 units.
It was the second consecutive month the Camry -- the top-selling U.S. car in 2012 -- finished second among all cars, beaten this time by the Honda Accord.
Camry still is the best-selling car in America for the year -- with five straight months above 30,000 units -- but this is the second straight month it has been outsold. In March, the Nissan Altima took the crown.
But it was more than Camry that dented Toyota brand sales last month; Corolla volume fell 2 percent to 24,273 units, sales of the Prius family fell 21 percent to 19,889 units, and Yaris deliveries plummeted 52 percent to 2,066 units. Sales of the redesigned Toyota Avalon, though, jumped 119 percent to 6,321 units.
Toyota's youth brand, Scion, was buoyed by the new FR-S, with deliveries of 1,629 units. Sales for the rest of the Scion lineup, though, fell 26 percent.
Light trucks were a bright spot for the Toyota brand last month.
Sales of the redesigned RAV4 jumped 22 percent to 18,541 units; its days supply is still under one month. Most of Toyota's other crossovers and SUVs posted single-digit-percentage sales gains. Deliveries of the Tacoma and Tundra pickups rose 19 and 15 percent, respectively.
Fay thinks many truck owners have been postponing a new purchase but can no longer ignore their aging vehicles and attractive finance and lease deals.
Overall, fleet deliveries represented about 11 percent -- about 19,000 units vs. 27,000 units last April -- of Toyota's April sales, Fay said.
Fleet sales will taper off and "really slow down through the summer" so that 2013 total fleet sales will be about 200,000 units for the year, about 8 to 10 percent of total Toyota Division sales, Fay said.
On the Lexus side, recent redesigns propelled sales of the ES and LS sedans to 71 and 60 percent increases, respectively. But the Lexus GS sedan appears to be losing its initial launch momentum, with sales of the sports sedan off 38 percent. The RX crossover continues to be Lexus' volume engine, with sales up 3 percent to 7,053 units.
Toyota said 72 percent of Toyota Motor Sales' vehicle deliveries were assembled in North America in April, up from 68 percent in April 2012.
Toyota Division dealers have about a 55-day supply of vehicles; including port stock, it's around 60 days. The division also sold more than 31,000 certified pre-owned units last month.