August sales and for Toyota are a direct comparison between 2017 and 2018 because this month had the same number of sales days in both years.
Because of this fact, the sales rate for some vehicles and the total sales that Toyota experienced tell us what the brand has that works, and what doesn’t right now. Overall, for the month of August, the total number of sales for the division was down 1.2 percent for Toyota and down 7.1 percent down for the Lexus brand.
The Good News from Toyota for August
The month of August showed some of the best-ever months for different models and areas of the business for Toyota and Lexus. One of the areas where Toyota and Lexus performed at the highest level was in the light truck sales division which showed an increase of 8.6 percent compared to the previous year and the Tacoma experienced an increase of 35.3 percent compared to 2017while the Tundra had a sales increase of 7.2 percent. SUV sales were up incrementally as well with the Highlander sales showing an increase of 23.6 percent, 4Runner sales that increased 24.2 percent, Lexus NX sales showed an increase of2.3 percent, and the Lexus RX reported an increase of 4.7 percent for the month.
These Sales Reflect the Current Market
When you review the current automotive market in the US, you’ll see that SUVs and light trucks are leading the way with sales. The fact is these vehicles are leading the way to the point that the market is shifting in this direction and some of the brands that we consider to be domestic brands, are moving away from building sedans and cars altogether. Does this mean we’ll see the same happen for Toyota? It’s a possibility, but now what we’ve seen yet.
The Negative Side of the August Sales for Toyota
There were several models across the Toyota and Lexus brands that either reported similar or fewer sales than in 2017. You’re going to notice a theme with these models that won’t surprise you at all. The models that didn’t show an increase are the Toyota Camry, Corolla, RAV4, and Lexus, the RXh and LS. The surprise in this group is the RAV4, which you might have expected to show an increase instead of a decrease.
The Outlier That Makes Sense
The one model that was an outlier and one that showed the increase we want to see and what we expect was the Toyota Prius Prime. As hybrids become more popular, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that we see this car as one that was sold more than in the past and experienced the best-ever August for the model with a sales increase of 13.8 percent. The story is clear; Toyota should invest heavily in trucks, SUVs, and hybrids for the future of the North American market.
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