Toyota continues its rebound from last year’s tsunami and subsequent earthquake that decimated inventory levels, as U.S. sales rose 36.6% in July on a daily rate basis.

Nearly every Toyota model posted an increase for the month, with the Camry leading the way on a volume basis, up 8.7% from like-2011 to 26,716.

Bill Fay, group vice president and general manager of the Toyota Div., says the Camry managed the increase in the face of fierce competition.

“The midsize segment is probably the most competitive, and Camry stretched its lead as the best-selling midsize car and (overall) car,” he says during a conference call with reporters.

The fastest-turning vehicle in Toyota’s U.S. lineup was the Corolla, which posted a 44.6% increase vs. year-ago to 22,939.

In the light-truck category, the fullsize Tundra and compact Tacoma pickups turned in strong results, increasing 28.0% and 37.7%, respectively.

Fays credits the rise to pent-up demand and expects pickup-truck sales to remain strong.

“We have been having good, strong success with (the) Tacoma all year, and the last couple of months the Tundra has really picked up,” he says. “The (July) result was the best Tundra month in over a year and a half. The goal will be to continue that and maximize what we can get in the pickup market with the inventory we have.”

RAV4 cross/utility vehicle deliveries skyrocketed 87.4% to 15,248, an increase Fay attributes to strong inventory levels.

Toyota expects sales to continue to grow in August, when the auto maker launches its annual nationwide clearance event, which features 0% financing on a number of models, including the Corolla, Avalon, Tundra, Venza, Highlander, RAV4 and Sienna.

The Camry and a handful of other vehicles will be offered at a 1.9% annual rate, Fay says.

Lexus car deliveries rose 32.5% in July to 9,759, largely due to a 486.3% spike in GS350 sales.

The ES350 also had a solid month, with sales increasing 42.8% to 3,759.

Lexus light-truck deliveries swelled 39.8% to 8,476, mostly a result of RX350 and RX450 demand, which increased 39.6% and 89.0%, respectively.

Mark Templin, Lexus group vice president and general manager, says new products are driving consumers into Lexus showrooms.

“We’re in the midst of an unprecedented product blitz,” he says. “In August, we’re expecting a strong month with our Golden Opportunity Sales event and strong advertising support and product.”

bpope@wardsauto.com