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.

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.

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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 hawkefracassa@aol.com or (248) 747-1550. Follow Hawke on Twitter @HawkeFracassa.

Image source: Lexus

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