DALLAS -- Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A.’s December deliveries rose 2 percent to 243,229 vehicles, but sales for the year were off 2 percent to just under 2.45 million units.
Toyota Division posted sales last month of 202,047 cars and light trucks, a 2.6 percent increase over last year. For all of 2016, division sales were down 1.7 percent to 2,118,402 units, the company said in a statement.
At the Lexus luxury division, December sales dropped 0.5 percent to 41,182 vehicles. For the full year, sales were down 3.9 percent to 331,228.
Toyota and Lexus have struggled to maintain adequate supplies of their fast-selling SUVs, crossovers and pickups as consumer tastes have switched to utility vehicles from sedans.
“Toyota division year-end results include record sales of both RAV4 and Highlander, along with Camry continuing its sales leadership as the No. 1-selling passenger car in America for the 15th consecutive year,” Bill Fay, group vice president and general manager of Toyota Division, said in a statement.
The defunct Scion division was folded into Toyota in the fall.
Toyota executives said they are in better shape with supplies of utility vehicles going into 2017 and are expecting another strong year as the production mix of cars and trucks improves.
“While luxury sedan customers still represent 40 percent of our total volume, it’s clear many customers have shifted to luxury utility vehicles, and we’re fully ramped up to meet their needs throughout 2017,” Lexus Group Vice President and General Manager Jeff Bracken said in a statement.
Nearly all Toyota Division cars posted sharp drops last month, including a 10 percent drop for the Camry and an 18 percent decline for the Prius.
In contrast, all of its light trucks gained last month, except the Sienna minivan. RAV4 sales jumped 17 percent, Highlander sales surged 58 percent and the Tacoma edged up 1.9 percent.
The story was much the same over at Lexus, with all but one car model reporting double-digit percentage declines; GS sedan deliveries fell 61 percent, while the NX small crossover gained 44 percent, and the larger RX, Lexus’ volume leader, gained 25 percent.
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