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Toyota says competition impacted Tacoma sales last month.

Toyota Flat, Nissan Falls, Hyundai Rises in June

Light trucks weren’t up across the board, with some brands experiencing declines in the body style. Toyota light trucks dipped due to Tacoma and Highlander losses, but its cars inched up thanks to Camry and Corolla.

Toyota U.S. light-vehicle sales were flat in June on a daily-sales basis, up 0.3%, with both Toyota and Lexus brands slightly underperforming year-ago. There were 26 selling days in June 2019 compared with 27 in June 2018.

Toyota saw losses on the light-truck side, while Lexus cars posted a decline.

The RAV4 midsize CUV continues to be Toyota’s No.1-selling model in the U.S. Its 39,152 sales were a June record, Toyota says, and were up 7.8% in daily sales.

The RAV4 Hybrid particularly is in high demand. Jack Hollis, group vice president-Toyota Div., tells media on a conference call the green model’s days’ supply is the slimmest among Toyota models at 10 days, compared with 50 days for all the brand’s cars or light trucks.

RAV4 Hybrid sales rose 142.1% in June to 9,013, Toyota says. That’s in keeping with the automaker’s goal to sell more of the variant with the new-generation RAV4.

Despite the RAV4 being in the black, Toyota’s light-truck sales slipped 0.5% due to losses among several models, including the usually resilient Tacoma midsize pickup.

The No.2-selling Toyota light truck posted a 4.6% DSR decline, the model’s first monthly loss in 20 months, Wards Intelligence data shows.

Hollis says increased competition and incentive spending in the midsize-pickup sector is to blame, but adds, “We’re going to continue to hold onto (the No.1) spot.” The Tacoma is the longtime No.1-selling midsize pickup in the U.S. and had its best first-half ever, Hollis says, tallying 121,866 sales.

Toyota’s No.3 best-selling light truck, the Highlander midsize CUV, also slipped in June, down 4.7%.

Last month, Toyota cars collectively rose 1.4%, with a 6.3% increase in Camry sales and a 6.4% rise in Corolla sales offsetting losses at all other volume models, including a 23.6% decline in Prius sales.

The low-volume Mirai hydrogen fuel-cell car spiked 67.4% on 166 sales vs. 103 year-ago.

Lexus’ car lineup fell 3.6% in June, while the luxury brand’s utilities rose 2.8%.

A 25.8% increase in ES sedan sales couldn’t offset losses among nearly all other Lexus car models.

The 1,351 UX small CUVs Lexus sold in the U.S. last month were responsible for the collective light-truck increase, as the brand’s other utilities (NX and RX CUVs, GX and LX SUVs) fell on a DSR basis.

Toyota Motor North America sales were down 3.1% on a volume basis in the first half, with Toyota Div. the culprit in the loss, falling 3.6% in volume while through-June sales at Lexus inched up 0.5%.

RAV4 sales were up 1.1% in January-June vs. first-half 2018 and its 200,610 units handily beat the Camry’s 176,008 to make it the brand’s No.1-selling model this year.

Hollis says Toyota still sees its U.S. sales coming in around 2 million for the year, with a U.S. light-vehicle seasonally adjusted annual rate in the upper-16-million range.

The automaker is planning 31 new, refreshed or redesigned model debuts by 2021 and recently announced it was pulling forward by five years its goal to offer an electrified variant of every model in its lineup, now targeting 2025.

Toyota Japanese rival Nissan sold 123,504 vehicles in the U.S. in June, an 11.6% DSR decline vs. year-ago.

The bulk of the monthly loss came from Nissan (-12.2%), while Infiniti was more resilient (-4.5%).

Once again, Nissan’s best-selling model, the Rogue CUV, saw a monthly sales decline, down 19.5% in June to 28,694.

The Altima midsize sedan, the brand’s No.2-seller, saw sales plunge 36.2%, a concerning development given the model was redesigned late last year.

Other Nissans experiencing hefty drops included the Armada large SUV, Versa B-car, Maxima large car, Murano midsize CUV and Titan fullsize pickup. DSR losses ranged from 32.8% to 52.1%, Wards Intelligence data shows.

Converse to what Tacoma saw, the Nissan Frontier midsize pickup gained 11.3%, while Nissan also saw positive results from the Sentra compact car, the NV commercial van lineup and the year-old Kicks small CUV, the latter experiencing a hefty hike in June vs. the one of its first months of sale.

Infiniti’s QX50 midsize CUV and QX80 large SUV were bright spots given losses at all other models, including a 3.8% dip in sales of the brand’s best-seller, the QX60 3-row CUV.

Through June, Nissan sales were down 8.2% on volume, with Nissan falling 7.7% and Infiniti 12.6%.

Meanwhile, Hyundai Motor America saw first-half sales climb 2% vs. the same period year-ago, as it gets closer to parity with the industry car/light-truck split.

The traditionally car-centric brand says CUVs made up 51% of its 333,328 January-June sales vs. 44% in first-half 2018.

Hyundai’s June sales also were up slightly, rising roughly 1,000 units vs. June 2018.

While many brands have seen a CUV displace a car to become their best-selling model, Hyundai’s top-seller last month still was a car, the Elantra compact, but its sales were down vs. year-ago.

The Santa Fe midsize CUV lineup sold 14,335 units, falling roughly 2,000 units shy of the Elantra’s tally, but up about 4,000 units from June 2018.

Other models rising in June included the Accent subcompact car, the Ioniq green-car lineup and the new Veloster sport coupe. Hyundai also saw good results from its year-old Kona small CUV, which spiked last month over June 2018.

Hyundai’s newest CUV, the large Palisade, tallied 383 deliveries in its initial month of sale.

Besides the Elantra, the Sonata midsize sedan and Tucson small CUV slipped in June. Those same models, as well as the Ioniq, also posted first-half declines.

Hyundai’s low-volume hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicle, the Nexo CUV, tallied 21 sales in June and 119 in first-half 2019.

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