May was a tough month for almost every automaker doing business in the U.S. Only Honda and Toyota showed gains among the major full-line manufacturers. Mighty Toyota which seemed impervious for so long dropped by 7.9%. While a dropoff in sales of Tundras, 4Runners and FJ Cruisers was certainly no shock, there was one distinct outlier. Even as gas prices topped $4/gallon in much of the country, sales of the Prius dropped nearly 40 percent from 24,009 last May to only 15,011 this May. After climbing steadily for many months, a drop like this comes as a surprise. We checked with Toyota's VP Communications Irv Miller about the situation. Miller explained that:
Last year at this time we required incentives to move the Prius that were accumulating in dealer stock and it was a big month. While the numbers are off for the month compared to last year, we ended the month with less than 1 day supply. You can see that our business is ahead of last year and we are constrained by battery supply on a global basis. With the plant announcements to increase battery production we should be on course to reach the next level with annual Hybrid production.
Only after the new Prius arrives (it will debut next January in Detroit) is the supply problem likely to let up. So if you absolutely must have a hybrid you'll need to look elsewhere for now. At Toyota, the next most affordable hybrid is the Camry, while Nissan offers an Altima hybrid in about a dozen states. The Ford Escape hybrid also offers mileage that easily tops 30mpg.
June 3, 2008 - Torrance, CA - Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc., today reported May sales of 257,404 vehicles, a decrease of 7.9 percent from last May, on a daily selling rate basis.
"The all-new Corolla really found its stride this month," said TMS President Jim Lentz. "Launched amid soaring fuel prices and economic uncertainty, Corolla strikes a sweet spot for buyers seeking refinement in addition to fuel efficiency and affordability."
The Toyota Division posted May sales of 230,811, a decrease of 6.3 percent from last May. The Lexus Division reported May sales of 26,593 units, a decrease of 19.6 percent from the year-ago month.
Toyota Division passenger cars recorded May sales of 152,652 units, down 0.9 percent over the same period last year. Passenger-car sales were led by Corolla, which posted all-time best-ever sales of 52,826 units, an increase of 12.4 percent over May 2007. Camry and Camry Hybrid posted combined sales of 51,291 in May. Camry Hybrid reported May sales of 5,999 units. With limited availability, the Prius hybrid gas-electric mid-size sedan posted May sales of 15,011 units. Yaris reported all-time best-ever sales of 14,397 units, up 26.6 percent over the year-ago month.
Toyota Division light trucks recorded May sales of 78,159 units, down 15.3 percent from May 2007. Light truck sales were led by the Tacoma mid-size pickup, reporting May sales of 17,341 units, up 4.2 percent over May 2007. The Tundra full-size pickup posted May sales of 12,144 units. Highlander and Highlander Hybrid posted combined sales of 10,841 units in May. The Highlander Hybrid gas-electric mid-size SUV reported May sales of 2,644 units. Sequoia posted sales of 3,575 units for the month, up 75 percent over the same period last year.
Scion posted May sales of 14,858 units, up 28.4 percent over the year ago month. The xB urban utility vehicle led the way with May sales of 5,351 units, an increase of 40.9 percent over last May. The tC sports coupe, entering its fifth model year, posted May sales of 5,166 units. The xD reported all-time best-ever sales of 4,337 units.
Lexus passenger cars reported May sales of 16,290 units, a decrease of 21.3 percent from May 2007. Passenger-car sales were led by the ES entry luxury sedan with May sales of 6,831 units. The IS entry luxury sport sedan reported combined sales of 5,420 units. The LS flagship luxury sedan reported combined sales of 2,115 units. Sales of the GS luxury sport sedan reported combined May sales of 1,708 units.
Lexus Division light trucks reported May sales totaling 10,303 units, down 16.7 percent from the year-ago month. Lexus sales were led by the RX luxury utility vehicle, which posted combined May sales of 8,082 units. The RX 400h hybrid luxury utility vehicle reported May sales of 2,155 units, up 19 percent over the year-ago month. The all-new LX 570 enjoyed sales of 827 units, an increase of 201.7 percent versus the same period last year
TMS calendar-year-to-date hybrid sales totaled 127,353 units. TMS posted May sales of 26,019 hybrid vehicles. Toyota Division posted sales of 23,654 hybrids for the month. Lexus Division posted May sales of 2,365 hybrids, an 18 percent increase over the same period last year.
There were 27 selling days this month, as compared to 26 selling days last May.
|TOYOTA RETAIL SALES|
|(INCLUDES FLEET & HAWAII)|
|-||----- CURRENT MONTH -----||-- CALENDAR YEAR TO DATE --|
|-||-||-||DSR %||-||-||DSR %|
|TOTAL TOYOTA DIV. PASS. CAR||152,652||148,327||-0.9||561,778||554,067||-0.2|
|TOTAL LEXUS PASS. CAR||16,290||19,943||-21.3||68,317||81,453||-17.4|
|TOTAL TOYOTA PASS. CAR||168,942||168,270||-3.3||630,095||635,520||-2.4|
|TOTAL TOYOTA DIV. LT TRUCK||78,159||88,849||-15.3||368,616||399,935||-9.3|
|TOTAL LEXUS LIGHT TRUCK||10,303||11,904||-16.7||48,141||49,880||-5.0|
|TOTAL TOYOTA LIGHT TRUCK||88,462||100,753||-15.5||416,757||449,815||-8.8|
|TOTAL TOYOTA DIV.||230,811||237,176||-6.3||930,394||954,002||-4.0|
|TOYOTA DIV. IMPORT CAR||55,960||58,512||-7.9||215,377||216,138||-1.9|
|LEXUS IMPORT CAR||16,290||19,943||-21.3||68,317||81,453||-17.4|
|TOYOTA DIV NA BUILT CARS||96,692||89,815||3.7||346,401||337,929||0.9|
|TOTAL TOYOTA CARS||168,942||168,270||-3.3||630,095||635,520||-2.4|
|TOYOTA DIV. IMPORT LT TRUCK||32,921||40,290||-21.3||157,842||190,230||-18.3|
|LEXUS IMPORT LT TRUCK||4,736||4,645||-1.8||22,562||21,348||4.0|
|TOYOTA DIV NA BUILT LT TRUCK||45,238||48,559||-10.3||210,774||209,705||-1.0|
|LEXUS NA BUILT LT TRUCK||5,567||7,259||-26.1||25,579||28,532||-11.7|
|TOTAL TOYOTA LT TRUCK||88,462||100,753||-15.5||416,757||449,815||-8.8|
|SPORT UTILITY VEHICLES||44,395||49,522||-13.7||205,122||225,735||-10.5|
|Memo: Lexus Sport Utility||10,303||11,904||-16.7||48,141||49,880||-5.0|
|* NORTH AMERICAN BUILT VEHICLES|
|N.A. VEHICLES % OF TOTAL||57.3%||54.1%||-||55.7%||53.1%||-|
|DSR = DAILY SELLING RATE||-||-||-||-||-||-|