Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc. is sticking to its target of selling 200,000 new Tundra fullsize pickups in calendar 2007, though executives admit it may turn out to be a photo finish.
“It’s going to be close,” predicts Bob Carter, group vice president and general manager-Div., citing rising gas prices and other economic factors that are slowing the market overall. “That’s still our goal, but it’s going to be close.
Carter, discussing Toyota’s November sales in a conference call with media and analysts, says the auto maker is pleased with the performance of the fullsize pickup, heavily revamped for the ’07 model year.
“We’re seeing record market share on the West Coast and good growth elsewhere, particularly in the Midwest,” he says. “Tundra has maintained leadership in California and has gained leadership in the Pacific Northwest.”
Sales of the pickup rose 43.2% in November, Carter says, adding that he expects the Tundra to close the year “strong.”
Overall, Toyota delivered 197,189 vehicles in the U.S. last month, including Lexus and Scion models, up 0.3% from year-ago. It was a record November for the Toyota Div., with total deliveries of 172,341 units, including a best-ever 98,749 car sales for the month.
Hybrids were hot, Toyota says. Camry Hybrid sales of 5,118 units marked a 65% jump from year-ago and Prius sales soared 109% to 16,737. Lexus RX hybrid demand increased 26% to 1,674 units, and the luxury brand delivered 170 high-priced LS 600h L hybrids.
Yaris sales declined 8.2%, a dip Toyota blames on incentives being used to clear the outgoing Corolla from stock. A revamped model is due for ’09 and slated to hit dealerships in February.
“We’ve had good aggressive consumer programs on the Corolla that may have shifted some buyers out of Yaris,” Carter says. “Once we introduce the new Corolla, you’ll see Yaris increase in volume.”
Lexus sales fell 7.0% to 24,848 vehicles, but it still marked the second-best November for the brand, Toyota says.