TMS Off to Fast Start in 2012 with 7.5% Gain in January Sales
Toyota Motor Sales (TMS) today reported a 7.5 percent gain in January sales on a volume basis, compared to the same period last year. Toyota Division sales climbed 9.0 percent while Lexus Division sales were off 4.6 percent.
“The momentum we saw building during the fourth quarter of last year continued to speed up in January,” Bob Carter, Toyota Division group vice president and general manager, told journalists during conference call. “Industry sales should come in with a SAAR (seasonally adjusted annual rate) of about 14 million, an increase over December. That’s also the best start for the new year since 2008 and another reason we’re optimistic about the coming year.”
“For Toyota Motor Sales, total Toyota, Lexus and Scion sales of 124,540 vehicles were up 7.5 percent from a pretty good January of last year,” he continued. The Toyota Division was up 9 percent, thanks to a huge Camry sales month with a 56 percent jump in the all-new Camry.”
“Frankly, the Camry results could have been even better,” Carter added. “Not only is Camry retaining owners at record levels, the Camry SE is bringing in new and younger buyers at all levels we have not previously experienced, with a median age of 45. As a result, demand for the SE model continues to top the Camry lineup and we could have sold more in January if we had them. So we’re adjusting our production mix in order to meet customer demand in the months ahead. We’re going from about 8 percent for the previous generation Camry to more than 40 percent for the current production mix. And even though the new Camry Hybrid didn’t start arriving at dealerships until late last year, January sales of more than 2,100 were up 146 percent.”
Prius also had a good month, with sales up 8.7 percent, and Toyota pickup sales were up 9 percent in January.
“We expect the gradually improving economy will continue to bring buyers back into the marketplace at the same time our influx of new models are arriving at dealerships,” concluded Carter.
On the luxury side, Mark Templin, Lexus Division group vice president and general manager, said, “Coming off our strong December to Remember, when we turned our inventory faster than we have in 2½ years, January sales for Lexus were pretty good.”
“We sold 12,274 vehicles, down 4.6 percent from last January,” he continued. “While SUV sales were down 15 percent due to low inventory, our car sales were up 9 percent. The best news is that today is the first day of February, which means that our plans for the year are kicking into high gear.”
“If you remember,” said Templin, “we said we’d launch nine new or updated models plus three F SPORT vehicles this year. Well, three of those new arrivals are at dealerships now. The LX luxury utility vehicle that we showed in Detroit, the GS sports sedan and the GS F SPORT are being delivered right now and customers soon will be driving them off dealers’ lots.
“Customers will be introduced to the GS in a big way this weekend when our first-ever Super Bowl spot airs. While the GS is the star of the spot, it also showcases the new look of Lexus and hints that there’s much more to come. In a way, the commercial is a 30-second version of our priorities for the first quarter of 2012. Through the first three months of this year, we’ll be focusing on three things:
— launching the all-new 2013 GS, GS F SPORT and LX
— showing the bold new Lexus, which includes our dedication to creating more emotional designs, and incorporating improved driving dynamics into our cars, and
— elevating the customer experience even more as we prepare for new products throughout the year.”
“Keep an eye on us,” said Templin, “because we’ve got an exciting year ahead with lots of good news to share.”
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