FORD MOTOR COMPANY +23% (Ford and Lincoln only)
At Ford, sales of cars grew at better than twice the rate of trucks or SUVs. Like GM, Ford goosed its totals with fleet sales (+31%) which grew faster than retail (+10%).
The move toward more fuel-efficient vehicles didn't slow F-series sales (+11%), but V-6 engines accounted for half the volume, up from 40% in March (three-fourths of V-6s were the Ecoboost turbo). The new Explorer had its best April since 2006, according to Ford. Meanwhile, the Flex dropped by half. Of the passenger cars, the Fusion had another 20k+ month but still managed to get beat by four midsize competitors. The Fiesta topped 9000 units again in April, surpassing the Mustang (itself up 59%) and Taurus.
Good new from the MKZ (+40%) and the MKX (+17%) was offset by bad news from the MKS (-29%), the MKT (-27%), the Navigator (-36%), and the Town Car, whose run is almost up.
TOYOTA MOTOR SALES +1%
Toyota continues to struggle, unable to get any forward momentum going in this improving market. Its tiny percentage increase was really just a gift from the one additional selling day in this April versus April 2010. You can't blame vehicle shortages (due to the disaster in Japan), as Toyota claimed to have "healthy inventory and a wide selection of popular models" at month's end. Only Scion was a bright spot, but unfortunately it accounts for just a tiny fraction of the corporation's U.S. total volume.
Despite the move to smaller cars, the aging Corolla/Matrix slipped by 13% and the Yaris fell by half, to become Toyota's worst-selling car. The Camry, however, was up by 9% and topped 30,000 units, just beating out the similarly surging Honda Accord (not to mention upstarts like the Hyundai Sonata and frequent bugbear the Nissan Altima) to retake first place among passenger cars. On the truck side, the Highlander (+27%) and the Sienna (+32%) were looking good, while the rest of the lineup was mostly treading water.
All Lexus cars were down compared to a year ago, and all Lexus trucks were up. The most worrying results on the car side were the ES (-21%) and the LS (-34%). The addition of the CT boosted sales by about 10%. Of the trucks, the GX looked the strongest (+37%).
The new tC coupe more than doubled. More surprising is that the xD mustered a 52% gain, and even the xB managed a 7% increase.