The Toyota brand had a better U.S. sales month in November than its Lexus luxury division, which has suffered plummeting demand for most of its cars, especially those geared for sporty enthusiasts.
Overall, Lexus deliveries fell 2.5% to 26,446 units in November, prodded by waning interest in the GS sedan (down 36.1% to 472 units from like-2017) and IS sedan (-25.5% to 1,830 units). The most drastic dips came for the dramatically styled coupes, the RC (-74.2% to 213 units) and the reasonably new LC (-50.4% to 139 units), according to Wards Intelligence data.
On the upside, Lexus’ best-selling car, the ES, notched an 8.0% gain to 4,222 deliveries, while the fully redesigned LS flagship sedan came on strong with 902 customers in November. There were 25 sales days in both November 2017 and 2018.
Besides the ES, Lexus’ bread-and-butter models carried momentum through the month, including the brand’s most popular vehicle, the RX CUV, which was up 1.4% over like-2017 to 10,248 units. The smaller NX CUV was up 4.0% to 5,622 deliveries. The brand is hoping for a boost as the all-new UX compact luxury CUV goes on sale later this month.
The largest SUVs in the Lexus stable, the LX and GX, were down 28.5% (to 429 units) and 2.6% (to 2,369 vehicles), respectively, according to Wards Intelligence data.
When splitting out hybrid sales, Lexus says November deliveries ballooned 88.6% for its NXh and 116.1% for the RXh.
Toyota says both of its brands posted best-ever November results for light trucks. Combined, the Toyota and Lexus divisions sold 126,839 SUVs, CUVs, minivans and pickups last month, up 10.6% from like-2017, while car sales fell 17.3% to 63,584 units.
The Toyota brand’s biggest losers in November were the Camry sedan (down 29.9% to 24,545 units), Prius hybrid (-24.7% to 5,495), Prius C hybrid (-39.9% to 513) and Scion’s former FR-S coupe, now known as the Toyota 86 (-35.7% to 293). The relatively new Avalon flagship sedan fell 9.3% to 2,225 units in November.
But the Toyota brand reveled in November’s success for several models, including the 4Runner SUV (up 13.8% to 11,494 units), Highlander CUV (up 5.6% to 20,139) and the C-HR compact CUV (up 10.1% to 3,732), according to Wards Intelligence data.
The Tacoma midsize pickup had a strong November, up 21.5% to 19,685 units, while the fullsize Tundra pickup was flat at 9,689 deliveries.
Toyota’s best seller, once again, was the RAV4 (up 23.0% to 35,350 units from November 2017), even as the current generation reaches the end of the line. The all-new RAV4 arrives in showrooms this month.
The outgoing Corolla compact sedan, to be replaced by a redesigned model that debuted at the Los Angeles Auto show last week, tallied 21,105 deliveries in November, up 18.1%
Through November, Toyota (including Lexus) has sold 2,205,762 million vehicles, down 0.6% from like-2017, according to Wards Intelligence data.