Nissan and Honda See Moderate April Sales Increases, Toyota Down Slightly

Honda, Acura, and Nissan saw sales bumps in April while Toyota, Lexus, and Infiniti experienced declining sales. What we're really watching for, however, is what happens to each automaker once production shortages in Japan show their effect in the upcoming months.

Toyota - Down 1.7 Percent (includes Scion)

Toyota sales were down 2.4 percent last month compared to April 2010. There were no standouts, but as usual, the Toyota and Lexus truck divisions pulled off slight increases. Yaris subcompact sales plummeted by 50.5 percent to 1987 units, and the Corolla was down by 16.5 percent with sales of 24,215 units. Before the next-generation Camry is unveiled, the current car managed a sales increase of 5.0 percent, with sales of 30,443 units. Prius sales, at 12,477 units, were flat, but still more than all Lexus passenger cars combined.

As for Toyota trucks and SUVs, the Sienna minivan and RAV4 SUV were the stars. Sienna sales were up 27.0 percent to 11,462 while the soon-to-be-replaced RAV4 was good for sales of 15,586 units. The Highlander experienced a sales boost of 21.9 percent, but the Venza was down a startling 35.6 percent. The smaller Tacoma outsold the full-size Tundra truck last month, 10,510 to 8312 units, respectively.

Scion

At Scion, the picture was not as gloomy in April as it sometimes has been. The entry-level xD saw sales shoot up 52.1 percent, to 1205 units. The more popular xB had a 7.3-percent sales increase and the new tC coupe sold 2674 units, more than double last April’s numbers.

Lexus - Down 7.8 Percent

Lexus' ES sedan -- normally a strong performer, was down 23.5 percent. The car's 3493 units sold was still more than the equally old IS lineup, which had sales of 2640 units, down 5.9 percent from April 2010. The hybrid-only HS 250h sedan was down 75.0 percent, but that's likely due to a model year changeover. The new CT 200h hatchback sold 875 units. Five LFA supercars were sold last month.

The Lexus RX crossover was again the best-selling model, and with sales of 7802 units, flat compared to April 2010. The GX contributed 1019 units and the LX 570 outsold the Toyota Land Cruiser on which it's based.

Honda - Up 5.9 Percent

Honda enjoyed modest sales increases during April, but cautioned that the next few months may be rough.

"While our current dealer supply of vehicles remains adequate, we know that production constraints may start to affect sales into the summer months," said John Mendel, executive vice president of sales for American Honda. "However, we are working closely with our dealers, and together we are committed to continue our focus to support the needs of our customers."

Honda's biggest gainer was the subcompact Fit, with sales up 66.3 percent to 8116 units. The Insight hybrid even had sales bumped up by 35.4 percent to 2644 units. The volume performers were the Accord, with sales down 8.1 percent to 30,310 (including Crosstour) and the Civic, with sales up 3.0 percent to 26,777 units.

The CR-V -- scheduled to be replaced in the 2012 model year -- saw sales increase by 25.3 percent to 21,683 units. The Odyssey minivan and Pilot SUV were both down, but still managed sales of 9954 and 9488 sales, respectively. Honda hasn't confirmed any rumors of the Ridgeline truck dying after the 2011 model year, but its sales of 952 units -- below the canceled Element's 1452 units -- suggests something should be done if the model continues as a part of Honda's lineup.

Acura - Up 4.2 Percent

Not much news from Acura this month, as the MDX crossover's flat sales of 3912 maintained its position as the best-selling Acura model. TL sales numbered 2887 units in April, below the TSX's 3105 units, though it's unclear how many of those were the wagon variant. Neither the RL nor the ZDX passed the 200-unit sales threshold.

Nissan - Up 14.5 Percent

Nissan had another good sales month in April, though it wasn't all because of the popular mid-size Altima sedan. In March, the Altima was the best-selling mid-size sedan in the U.S., with sales of 32,289 units. In April, sales were still up 16.7 percent compared to April 2010, but totaled just 17,232 units. The Sentra compact entry shot up 42.2 percent, to 9367 units. The Maxima was down 30.6 percent and the old Versa held steady with sales of 6413 units. Nissan sold 573 Leafs and 258 GT-Rs last month.

Nissan's full-size truck and SUV -- the Titan and Armada -- had sales decrease by 29.8 and 27.8 percent, respectively. NV commercial van sales are ramping up. In April, 260 NVs were sold, up from 19 the month before. The Quest saw sales of 999 units, down from last month's 1442 units. The Rogue compact crossover was up 28.1 percent, to 8432 units.

Infiniti - Down 6.2 Percent

April was an uneventful month for Infiniti with the exception of continued strong sales from the full-size QX56 SUV. Sales increased from 562 units in April 2010 to 976 last month, enough of a gain to counter the decreases from the EX and FX crossovers.

The Infiniti M sedan had a weak month, with just 843 sold, a decrease of 30.4 percent. The G coupe was flat, at 1267 units, and the G sedan decreased to 2588 units.

All percent change numbers for Honda and Toyota are based on a daily selling rate basis.

Source: Toyota, Honda, Nissan

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