April 2014 was one of Toyota’s best months for trucks. In Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Kansas City, NY, and Portland, this was the best month of truck sales in Toyota company history. One might think that this sales surge is a result of a slow winter, but Toyota’s Tundra has now posted six consecutive months of increased sales.
Toyota’s 2014 Tundra is all-new and the sales momentum from the new design has been intense. In April, sales of the 2014 Tundra were up 26% over the prior April in which the older design was still on sale. Toyota is now on track to sell about 150,000 Tundras this calendar year, making the Tundra one of Toyota’s most important vehicles in terms of revenue.
The Tacoma had been in a bit of a sales slump and is still down for the year. The design of the Tacoma is now getting quite stale and Chevy is about to introduce its new Colorado. Yet, in April the Tacoma was up about 7% on a volume basis and a couple more months of sales like that and the truck will no longer be behind for the year.
In April, all things trucky sold extremely well for Toyota, and even Lexus. The smallest trucklet, the RAV4 was limited by inventory issues. Toyota can’t produce enough to meet the demand so sales were up just a bit over last year. The new Highlander is a smash hit and is up 28% this month. The 4Runner and Land Cruiser posted double digit gains. The Lexus GX is up 135% over last year. The Lexus RX, the leading seller in the luxury sport utility marketplace was also restrained by production, so only grew about 10%.
Overall, the month of April was good for Toyota. This was not true for the general industry. Volkswagen for example was down in sales by about 9% in April and is down 10% for the year.