December 2010 was a good month for Honda, which saw sales increase 25.5 percent. Rival Toyota experienced flat sales for December and for the year.
Toyota - Down 2.4 Percent (includes Scion)
The Avalon and Prius were the only bright spots for Toyota's passenger car department. The former was up 8.4 percent in December and the 50-mpg hatchback had sales increase 37.7 percent to 15,639 units. That puts the hybrid well behind the Corolla and Camry, which sold 22,058 and 31,223 units respectively. Camry sales were down 7.3 percent last month. The smaller Corolla and Yaris each saw decreases of about 30 percent.
The only Toyota-branded truck or SUV to see a decrease in sales during December was the boldly styled FJ Cruiser, with sales down 16.1 percent. Tundra and Tacoma sales were up almost 20 percent each, with the smaller Tacoma outselling the Tundra by 957 units. The 4Runner and Highlander SUVs saw the biggest increases among Toyota's SUVs.
At Scion, the new tC has passed the boxy xB as the brand's best-seller. Sales of the coupe are up 57.9 percent, to 1594 units. The xB was down 9.2 percent and the aging xD had sales decrease 11.7 percent.
Lexus - Up 0.1 Percent
The hot-selling RX SUV sold almost as well in December as all of Lexus' passenger cars put together. RX sales, at 12,090 units, were up 6.1 percent. The new GX is performing much better than its predecessor, and the full-size LX sold more than twice as well as the Toyota Land Cruiser on which it's based.
Lexus sedans didn't fare so well in December: not a single one was up. The ES led the way with 5469 units, followed by the IS line with 3782 units. The LS outsold the HS hybrid and 13 new SC hardtop convertibles were sold in December.
At Honda, things were a little more positive.
Honda - Up 22.6 Percent
The Accord outsold the Camry in December and was up 18.9 percent. In its very last year of production, the Civic lineup sold 31.3 percent better than in December 2009, with 28,263 units. The Insight hybrid may have seen flat sales in December, but the Civic Hybrid saw a 99.5 percent sales jump.
In the SUV, minivan, and truck department, Honda had predictable results. The new Odyssey and Pilot were each up about 17 percent and sold about 10,000 units while the CR-V contributed a substantial 23,125 units -- up 28.3 percent. The Element and Ridgeline each sold just over 1200 units and were down for December.
Acura - Up 51.9 Percent
Sales of Acura SUVs increased 86.9 percent in December. The MDX was the best-selling Acura -- up 110.6 percent with 5887 units sold. The ZDX kicked in 253 units and the RDX was up 24.5 percent.
In the passenger car division, Acura's entry-level TSX led the way, and it's not because of the newly introduced wagon. Wagon sales numbered 126 units and TSX sales were up 55.7 percent overall. Despite its styling, TL sales were up 7.2 percent.
All percent change numbers for Honda and Toyota are based on a daily selling rate basis.