Toyota and Lexus dealers have found a way to resurrect sedan sales after their long decline, at least for now.
While U.S. light-vehicle sales pulled back in the third quarter across almost every segment, sales of cars — everything that's not a ubiquitous crossover, SUV, van or pickup — were still up this year through September for the first time since 2013, rising 8.2 percent.
Among the factors impacting the car landscape this year are limited vehicle options on lots resulting from the microchip shortage and less competition in the car segment as some automakers such as General Motors and Ford Motor Co. significantly pared their car portfolios to concentrate on higher-profit light trucks.
Defending the honor of the car have been the automakers that have stayed committed to the former sales stalwart, including Toyota Motor North America.
Sales of the compact Toyota Corolla sedan were up 9.9 percent in the third quarter to 62,196 and 31 percent through September to 217,727, placing it just ahead of its longtime segment rival Honda Civic, which was up 7.8 percent to 216,575 sales.