Toyota is the number one retail brand in America in 2013
Toyota was 2013’s best-selling retail brand. Ford outpaced Toyota if fleet sales are included. Overall the US market grew about 7.6% in 2013 and Toyota Motor Sales, which is Toyota brand plus Lexus and Scion, kept pace and grew almost exactly that same amount. The historically strong Toyota models did quite well, but there were some surprises as well.
The Toyota Camry is again the number one car in America, its 12th straight win. The Camry has dominated that spot now for two decades. In total, Toyota sold 408,484 Camrys. That one car for Toyota outsold all of Volkswagen in America. The Corolla also did well. New mid-way through the year sales were up about 4% and topped 300,000. The Corolla is the number one 4-door in its class. The RAV 4 simply exploded in sales. It was new for the full sales year and its sales of 218,249 were up about 30% over 2012. The Avalon was the other runaway success. Selling about 71,000 units, a quarter of which were hybrids, the flagship car for Toyota’s brand has been wildly successful.
Overall hybrids at just the Toyota brand topped 300,000 units sold. Over 67,000 of those were not Prius models and the non-Prius models were up 4% year over year. At TMS (including Lexus) the 12 total hybrid models the company sells topped 345,000 units, up 5.3% over last year despite low gas prices (lowest in 33 months). TMS is now selling more than 60% of all the hybrids in the US. It should be noted that the sales rate of Toyota’s hybrids over the past 15 months outpaces electric vehicle sales in both total units and percent growth. EV sales have been flat since about August of 2012. Toyota vehicles won just about every green car award worth winning in 2013.
Toyota’s trucks and SUVs also had a good year. Tundra and Tacoma pickups combined were up about 11%. The new Highlander crossover SUV was refreshed very late in the year and showed a bump in sales in December of 5%. Lexus SUVs also did very well and were up about 11% as well.
One thing that helped TMS overall is that it had no failed models in 2013. All the new releases met or exceeded expectations and cars well into their design cycles (like Camry) still beat the competitors’ new models' releases. Bill Fay, Toyota division group vice president and general manager summed up the report and the forecast for 2014 saying “The auto industry was a consistent bright spot in the economic recovery throughout 2013. We expect the economy will continue to gain strength in 2014, with car sales rising to pre-recession levels.”