LOS ANGELES -- Toyota raised its 2013 U.S. sales target for the Toyota brand and Scion by about 50,000 units as combined deliveries of Toyota, Lexus and Scion vehicles topped 230,000 in August. It was the company's best monthly sales total in more than five years.
Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A.'s sales rose 23 percent to 231,537 units, enough to top Ford Motor Co. for the second month in a row.
Toyota brand and Scion together posted a 23 percent increase in sales to 201,745 units while Lexus volume also rose 23 percent to 29,792 units. Toyota brand sales rose 24 percent to 194,047 units, and Scion sales were flat at about 7,700 units.
Strong Camry, Prius, RAV4 and Tacoma sales, plus the arrival of the redesigned Corolla compact car and Tundra pickup and the U.S. auto industry's strong recovery, pushed Toyota to raise its 2013 sales target for Toyota brand and Scion to roughly 2 million vehicles for the year from 1.95 million previously, Bill Fay, Toyota Division general manager, said during a conference call Wednesday with reporters.
That, plus Lexus' target of 250,000 units, brings the automaker's total U.S. sales goal to about 2.25 million vehicles for 2013.
A 'remarkable' August
"From our point of view, it was really a remarkable month," Fay said during the conference call. "Toyota was the No. 1 retail manufacturer, the No. 2 overall brand; fleet sales made up just about 2 percent of our mix. Camry was the No. 1 selling car; Toyota Division was the No. 1 selling retail brand; and Toyota was the No. 1 certified used-vehicle sales" brand.
During the call, Fay said Toyota sold just 4,617 vehicles to fleet customers, noting that August is typically one of the weakest months for Toyota fleet sales.
Driving Toyota Division's August gains were the Camry, with a 22 percent sales increase to 44,713 units last month, a 30 percent sales gain for the Prius family of vehicles to 27,358 units and a 50 percent jump in RAV4 crossover sales to 23,502 units.
The redesigned Corolla compact began to arrive at dealerships in late August, a little earlier than expected because the outgoing model's sell-down was going well, Fay said. The compact's arrival will push the nameplate's 2013 sales to about 300,000 vehicles for a 3 percent gain compared with last year before selling a projected 330,000 Corollas in 2014, Fay said.
The 29,792 Lexus vehicles sold last month topped the August volumes of rival German brands BMW and Mercedes-Benz and was more than twice the number sold by Audi.
Lexus' volume leader was the RX crossover, which notched a 32 percent sales gain to 11,423 units. Sales of Lexus' top-selling car, the ES, grew by 1 percent to 7,628 units.
Sales of the redesigned IS compact sedan jumped 87 percent to 4,432 units last month after going on sale about two months ago. Steve Hearne, vice president for sales and dealer development at Lexus, said during Toyota's conference call that the marketing campaign for the IS began Tuesday and will continue through early October.