Toyota April Car Sales Rise 11% On Strong Hybrid Demand

   on May 01 2012 5:24 PM
An employee works on an assembly line of Toyota Motor Corp's hybrid car "Prius" at Tsutsumi plant in Toyota Dec. 9 2011
An employee works on an assembly line of Toyota Motor Corp.'s hybrid car Prius at the company's Tsutsumi plant in central Japan. REUTERS

Toyota Motor Corporation (NYSE: TM) said Tuesday its U.S. April sales rose 11.6 percent, despite fewer selling days than the previous April, as consumer demand for hybrid vehicles like the Camry Hybrid and Prius remained high.

Toyota increased sales 11.6 percent in April, or 25.5 percent on a selling-day adjusted basis. April 2012 had three fewer selling-days than the previous year.

Thanks to continued strong sales of Camry and Prius family, Toyota was America's number one retail brand for the second straight month, Bob Carter, Toyota Division group vice president and general manager for Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. said.

Overall Toyota brand sales rose 13.1 percent in April, 27.2 percent on a selling-day adjusted basis. Toyota's Lexus division sales were flat compared to last year on a volume basis, but were up 12.3 percent adjusted for selling-days.

Toyota's flagship Camry and Camry Hybrid models sold 36,820 units, a 20.9 percent increase over the year before, while the Prius family had its best April ever with 25,168 cars sold, an increase of 101.7 percent. The Toyota Corolla and Avalon models also posted double digit sales gains, bringing the company's passenger car division sales to 99,450 in April, a 28.3 percent gain over the year before.

Toyota's light trucks and SUVs division lagged behind with sales shrinking by 5.3 percent, although they gained 6.5 percent on an adjusted basis. The RAV4 led the pack, although its sales fell 2.5 percent. The Highlander and Highlander Hybrid models gained a combined 5.2 percent to reach 9,352 vehicles. The 4Runner and Tacoma both gained in sales as well, but sales of the Tundra and Sienna shrank.

In the Lexus division, passenger car sales gained 11.7 percent, 25.6 percent adjusted, to 9,441 vehicles, led by the brand's entry level ES sedan, despite the model's 14.1 percent unadjusted drop in sales. The biggest gains in the division came from the GS and GS hybrid models which increased sales 421 percent unadjusted.

Lexus truck and SUV sales were down 11.1 percent, although they were unchanged on an adjusted basis.

Toyota Motor Corporation (NYSE: TM) shares fell $1.63 to $80.15 at the close of the market Tuesday.

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