TOYOTA: Tight supplies dent truck tally as volume falls 5.6%
Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc.’s June sales fell 5.6 percent to 198,257, dragged down by a slide in the Toyota brand’s cars and light trucks. Truck sales were hurt by availability issues, which company executives said are being addressed.
Toyota Division sales dropped 7.6 percent to 166,299. Lexus brand’s sales slipped 1.3 percent to 25,779, the automaker said today.
“Would we have liked to have done better? Yes,” Paul Holdridge, Toyota Division’s vice president of sales, said in a conference call discussing the results. But he added that despite the declines, Toyota sees a strong second half for both brands.
The industry as a whole typically is stronger in the second half, he said. “We expect the same for the industry and for Toyota. We’re poised to take advantage of the current market demand for SUVs and light trucks.”
Steve Hearne, Lexus Division’s vice president for sales and dealer development, added, “Lexus has traditionally always been a strong second-half team. We look forward to the summer selling season and beyond and potentially another record year for Lexus.”
The softness in the Toyota Division’s passenger-car lineup -- sales fell 15 percent to 79,220 -- mirrored that at other automakers.
But where other brands offset that with strong truck sales, Toyota brand’s light trucks were relatively flat 87,079. SUV and crossover sales rose 0.5 percent to 50,421, paced by a 10.2 percent rise for the RAV4 to a June-best 27,365. But deliveries of the Highlander and Sienna, the brand’s other high-volume light trucks, fell in June.
Pickups also were soft, falling 2.5 percent to 25,242. Tacoma sales slipped 0.9 percent and Tundra sales dropped 5 percent.
Toyota has a 16-day supply of the Tacoma truck, and recently added a Saturday shift at the San Antonio plant that builds it.
Without confirming that San Antonio’s output was hurt by recent hailstorms there, Holdridge said, “Any interruption from anything puts some pressure on our volume. But we’re getting that back. We’ve got a production schedule to capture that downtime.”
Toyota, he added, will “be in a good position by the middle of July when we get caught up.”
Lexus cars vs. trucks
At Lexus, car sales slid 14 percent to 11,261. Sales of the ES rose 7 percent to 5,060, but deliveries of all other nameplates fell.
Lexus’ light-truck volume rose 11 percent to 14,518, as all nameplates’ sales gained. Hearne said the brand had its best second quarter and first half ever.
The redesigned RX crossover remained the brand’s top seller, up 11 percent to 8,045. But Hearne noted that the NX compact premium crossover, with June sales up 16 percent to 4,069, “continues to bring in a younger buyer, with a median age nearly 15 years younger than LX.”
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