Jack Hollis: You're seeing the economic news being really positive and consumer confidence at all-time highs." Hollis is pictured here with the 2019 RAV4 at the New York auto show last month.
DALLAS -- Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. said sales rose 3.5 percent in March from a year earlier, for three straight months of gains. Toyota Division enjoyed its best first quarter in a decade, with more than 507,000 vehicle sales.
Brands: Toyota up 4.5%, Lexus down 3.2%
Notable nameplates: Toyota Camry down 1.1%, Toyota Corolla down 4%, Toyota RAV4 up 9.1%, Toyota Highlander up 19%, Toyota Tacoma up 21%, Toyota Tundra up 14%, Lexus NX up 4.3%, Lexus RX up 3.9%, Lexus LS up 172% (1,008 vs. 370), Lexus ES down 15%, new Toyota C-HR subcompact tallied 5,253 in March for its best month since it was launched in April.
Incentives: $2,510 per unit, up 17% from a year earlier, according to ALG.
Average transaction price: $32,085, up 1.7% from a year earlier, ALG says.
Quote: "The question about March, why so strong? When you look at some of the tailwinds that we still have, with housing starts and the industry there continuing to be strong, and as a matter of fact it's as strong as it has been since summer of 2007, so you're seeing a lot there. You're seeing the economic news being really positive and consumer confidence at all-time highs. So when you see that, coming into March and spring, and I think you start seeing thrust months by a lot of the OEMs, there's a lot of extra marketing by dealers themselves, you're talking about the voice of a lot of excitement in the marketplace," said Jack Hollis, Toyota Division general manager, in a first-quarter conference call.
Did you know? While the Toyota RAV4 compact crossover has overtaken the Camry as the brand's best-selling vehicle in the U.S. as part of the market shift toward light trucks, the Camry can still surprise. The midsize sedan slightly outsold the RAV4 (35,264 to 34,937) in March. For the quarter, RAV4 sales were still a tick higher than its sedan stablemate, but they were closer than conventional thinking would suggest.