Yesterday we reported that Toyota expected its March sales to be up between 30 and 35 percent. That estimate, however, was a bit low and the actual sales increase was around 41 percent.
Jim Lentz, vice president of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., said yesterday that light trucks had led the company’s sales increase with the Rav4 in particular. He estimated around 22,000 Rav4s had been sold in March, which also proved to be an underestimate as the company sold a record 25,781 Rav4s in March -- more than double the total from last March. Overall, Toyota’s truck division posted a sales increase of 54 percent, aided also by best-ever March sales of Toyota’s Highlander models, which over doubled in sales as well.
Toyota’s car division also posted an increase as Lentz estimated yesterday. Its increase of roughly 24 percent is less than the truck division increase, but still resulted in a higher sales volume -- 94,221 units versus 72,423 for Toyota’s trucks. Toyota’s Camry and Corolla models accounted for 70-percent of these sales. Toyota sold 36,251 Camrys in March along with 29,623 Corollas for a combined sales volume of 65,874 vehicles. The Prius accounted for 11,786 sales.
Lexus, Toyota’s luxury division, reported an increase in March sales of 34 percent. A total of 20,219 Lexus vehicles found their way into new owners hands with the majority of sales coming from the RX, IS, and ES vehicles. Lexus sold 8060 RX vehicles, which represents a 26-percent jump over last March; 3860 ES sedans, a 15-percent boost; and 3137 IS sport sedans, a 24-percent increase. Lexus’ introduction of a new GX contributed 1785 sales -- a 206-percent increase.
Toyota’s smallest division, Scion, continued to struggle this March. While sales of just about every other vehicle increased, Scion sales sagged to just 3511 vehicles -- a 75-percent decrease over last year. Toyota introduced the newest Scion model, the small iQ, and refreshed the tC at the New York auto show this week in hopes of reversing Scion's sales slide.