ES 350 leads Lexus revival

The slump at Lexus is over. The luxury marque sold 10,331 cars last month, an uptick of 6.2% over the same period last year. The ES 350 (pictured), Lexus's entry luxury sedan, was the Japanese company's best-selling car (3,887). Another big boost: Lexus moved 3,238 hybrids in August, an increase of 56.1% over 2010.

A total of 2,865 cars in the IS family were sold and the all-new CT 200h premium hybrid compact did all right, too, selling 2,087 units.

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Trucks were another story. Lexus recorded sales of 7,772 light trucks, a 26.1% fall from August 2010. The RX and RX Hybrid luxury utility vehicle were the sales leaders with combined August sales of 6,504 units. Dealers sold 958 GX 460 mid-sized luxury utility vehicles. Total car and truck sales were 18,103 units, 10.6% lower than last year.

Parent company Toyota had a down month. Its August sales of 129,483 units are a decrease of 16.1% from the same period last year. On a raw volume basis, sales dove 12.7% from the year-ago month. Toyota Division had 111,380 vehicle sales for the month, a 16.9% dip compared with August of last year. On a raw volume basis, Toyota Division sales went down 13.6%.

Executives say brighter days are ahead. "Our supply outlook continues to improve as North American production will return to 100% of normal levels this month," said Jeff Bracken, vice president of Toyota Division sales.

Overall, there were 63,250 Toyota automobiles sold in August, a reduction of almost 16% from year-ago numbers. The Camry and Camry Hybrid were the sales leaders with 30,185 units going to buyers. Also in the mix were the Corolla (16,420 sold) and Prius mid-size gas-electric hybrid (9,491 sold). Toyota sold 13,273 hybrids overall, a decrease of 17.4%. The Toyota Division sold 10,035 of those hybrids.

Toyota truck sales tumbled 18.3%, with 48,130 units sold. Here are sales totals: Sienna (8,648 minivans), RAV4 compact SUV (6,502), Highlander and Highlander Hybrid (8,047, combined), Tundra full-size pickup (6,752) and the Tacoma mid-size pickup (8,650). Unlike the other trucks, whose sales were either down or flat, Tacoma sales were actually up 1%.

Scion sold 3,649 cars in August, a fall of 9%. The xB urban utility vehicle was the top seller (1,785 units). The tC sports coupe had 1,114 sales and the xD, 750.

You can reach TN's Hawke Fracassa at or (248) 747-1550. Follow Hawke on Twitter @HawkeFracassa.

Image source: Lexus

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