Toyota Posts July Sales Gain; IS Brings Younger Buyers to Lexus

The auto maker sees another strong month, as the U.S. economy rebounds and it prepares for new versions of the Corolla sedan and Tundra pickup.

Aaron Foley, Associate Editor

August 1, 2013

2 Min Read
IS sedan driving down Lexus buyer age executives say
IS sedan driving down Lexus buyer age, executives say.

Toyota’s July U.S. sales fell a few thousand units shy of June’s total, but marked a 12.6% gain from year-ago on a daily basis (one more sales day this year than last), WardsAuto data shows.

The performance increased Toyota’s year-to-date deliveries to 1,302,185 vehicles, a 7.5% jump from like-2012 executives credit to a resurgent U.S. economy.

“(The market) continues to be driven by a lot of positive factors, including customer confidence and pent-up demand, finance options and new products in the market,” Bill Fay, general manager-Toyota Div. in the U.S., tells reporters and analysts.

The Camry was Toyota’s best-selling model with 34,780 units delivered in July, though year-to-date sales of 242,406 are down 0.6% from like-2012.

Combined Prius sales totaled 23,294 up 34.4% for the month. The Yaris subcompact, which delivered a slim 1,759 units in July, up 32.9%, still posted the brand’s biggest year-to-date drop of 37.4% from like-2012.

The RAV4 was the leading Toyota-brand truck, with deliveries totaling 19,538.

Toyota is in the midst of a selldown of its Corolla sedan and Tundra pickup, both of which have new versions beginning production this month. The auto maker delivered 24,220 Corolla sedans and 9,820 Tundra pickups in July.

Fay predicts no shortage and assures the new models will reach dealers in time as supply of the current-generation vehicles decreases. “We’re anxious to get those models in customer hands.”

Incentive spending is up slightly, particularly with the Camry, but “in general our incentive spending is way below the industry average,” Fay says. “We’re in a good place, I think, as far as incentives.”

The Lexus brand delivered 23,031 vehicles, boosted by the RX SUV and the new IS sedan, which is bringing in a younger buyer.

RX sales totaled 7,475 units, up 16.0% on a daily basis. The refreshed IS performance car sold 3,643 units, a 52.3% increase from July 2012.

“Half (of all IS customers) are new to the Lexus family, two-thirds are male and the average age is 42,” says Jeff Bracken, general manager-Lexus. “It truly is in the wheelhouse of a younger buyer’s interest group.”

As a result, Bracken says Lexus is raising its year-end sales goal from 260,000 units to 270,000.

But while younger buyers flock to the Lexus brand, Scion – tailored specifically to the youth market – suffered through another weak month.

In total, Scion delivered 6,261 vehicles, down 12.9% from July 2012. Its year-to-date tally stands at 41,261, down 1.8% from year-ago.

All Scion models see sales plunge from year-ago, including the much-hyped FR-S, whose 1,614 deliveries are down 6.0%. The iQ small car suffers Scion’s biggest drop with a paltry 336 units sold, 42.1% down from July 2012.

About 4.5% of Toyota’s sales were fleet deliveries, down from 10% last month, Fay says.

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About the Author(s)

Aaron Foley

Associate Editor, WardsAuto

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