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Feb11

Toyota Gaining Ground in Quest for More Light Truck Sales

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2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro - Image: Toyota

January was a boffo gross sales month for Toyota in the USA, with the automaker posting a sixteen.eight % yr-over-yr improve throughout each the Toyota and Lexus manufacturers. Toyota model gross sales rose 17 %, to the posh division’s 15 %.

Don’t anticipate that sort of progress to proceed, says Jack Hollis, Toyota North America’s common supervisor, because the business nonetheless expects a stoop in 2018. More necessary to Toyota than final month’s gross sales, nevertheless, is the sort of automobiles Toyota consumers truly took residence. On this case, model loyalists added crossovers, SUVs, and trucks to their driveway in larger numbers than ever earlier than.

The document set for Toyota mild truck gross sales in the U.S. final month was precisely what the corporate hoped for. Nonetheless, maintaining that truck-shopping for momentum going is now job one.

Toyota got here nearer than ever to fixing a persistent product drawback final month. As increasingly consumers gravitate in the direction of SUVs and trucks, Toyota quickly discovered itself lagging behind the business common in phrases of its automobiles-to-trucks ratio. Automobiles — a quickly shrinking phase — made up an excessive amount of of Toyota’s gross sales. Hardly a great way to face the longer term.

However there’s progress being made on this entrance. Chatting with Automotive Information, Hollis stated that during the last 4 months, American consumers selected mild trucks over passenger automobiles by a ratio of sixty four:36. Toyota ended 2017 with a gross sales mixture of fifty eight:forty two. A yr earlier, simply fifty three % of the corporate’s U.S. gross sales have been mild trucks. In January, nevertheless, Toyota cleared the 60 % bar for the primary time, pushing it nearer to the business common (the place, presumably, safety lies).

“As we see that, we’re gaining extra of what the business is promoting,” Hollis stated, giving a few of the credit score for final month’s gross sales surge to the rising reputation of sure fashions.

2018 Lexus RX L

Whereas Toyota model automobiles noticed a yr-over-yr gross sales uptick of 5.7 % in January, demand for Lexus automobiles fell by 2.three %. Toyota pickup gross sales rose 27.three %, yr over yr, with progress in Tacoma gross sales amounting to 33.6 %. The identical development carried over in Toyota’s SUV division, the place gross sales climbed 26.7 % in comparison with the earlier January. Solely previous, low-quantity fashions (Sequoia, Land Cruiser) noticed any lower in gross sales.

At Lexus, gross sales of the NX, LX, GX, and RX strains rose a mixed 23.6 %. As we’ve seen just lately, Toyota’s pulling out all of the stops to make its mild truck lineup extra interesting to consumers. In addition to including the subcompact C-HR crossover to the secure, the automaker launched an extended, three-row RX and cheaper, two-row LX, with an improved line of TRD Professional off-street fashions additionally on the best way. Later this yr, we’ll see the redesigned RAV4 — a mannequin already in possession of the “best-promoting crossover” title.

Regardless of earlier efforts to squeeze extra Tacomas out of its Texas and Mexico meeting crops, Toyota plans to feed the demand with further manufacturing in the close to future.

Truly, it’s probably Toyota would have already got reached the business’s sixty four:36 truck-to-car ratio, have been it not for two names: Camry and Corolla. These two automobiles, backed up by many years of identify recognition and a strong fame, proceed promoting nicely. Suffice it to say, there’s far worse conditions an automaker might discover itself in.

[Images: Toyota]

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