By on November 3, 2008

Anyone fancy a Lexus? Now’s a good time to saunter over to their swanky digs; October sales at Toyota’s luxury division are off by 37.6 percent. With Toyota sales down 24.2 percent, call it a combined 25.9 percent decline. Some notable [non] performers: Camry (down 12.8 percent), Prius (-13.6), Highlander (-29.2) Tundra (-65.4). So what’s up? Corolla (+2.2 percent) and the Sequoia (of all things), up 16.3 percent. Notable from Toyota’s press release: any mention whatsoever of the U.S. economic climate. It’s all business with these guys.

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25 Comments on “Toyota’s October Sales Slip 25.9%...”

  • avatar

    Nobody’s immune, I suppose. Then again, if I said it once, I’ll say it again. Toyota hasn’t made anything that interested me since they discontinued the MKIV Supra ten years ago.

  • avatar
    Mike the loser

    @Ferrari Toyota has cheap interiors more than anything. While overall vehicles are good they could have avoided that drop in sales by icreasing MPGs and making better interiors.

  • avatar

    At least they are not GM, which had a 45% sales drop in October, talk about a disaster!

  • avatar

    Then again, if I said it once, I’ll say it again. Toyota hasn’t made anything that interested me since they discontinued the MKIV Supra ten years ago.

    Yes, but in this market it’s not like they’d have sold many Supras or MR-2s, anyway. What’s GM offering to move Corvettes these days?

    Other than selling something radically different, I can’t see how Toyota could have done a whole lot better. One question: is Toyota still making money on reduced sales volume?

  • avatar

    Toyota has cheap interiors more than anything. While overall vehicles are good they could have avoided that drop in sales by icreasing MPGs and making better interiors.


    Better interiors and low mileage do not result in a 30% sales increase. The only way Toyota could have done that would be selling cars in an alternate universe where the credit crunch and associated recession isn’t happening.

    Anyone who’s selling in this market is selling a commodity product that would be bought regardless of economic conditions. I’d be impressed if even Mazda or Mini turn increases this month.

  • avatar

    Weren’t they supposed to be saved by zero?

  • avatar

    They were… however, we know how that turned out. Inventories around here are larger now than they were at the beginning of the month. There is just no confidence.

    Just to put the mood in perspective, there are almost 200 Prii at dealers within 30 miles of me. Four or five months ago there were about 20. The Corolla’s stock went above 500 this month from about 400 a month ago despite 0%. If 0% at Toyota isn’t moving the needle…

    Q109 is going to be terrible. We’ll see under 12M SAAR for that quarter if my estimates are right. That might put January around 750-800k in total industry sales.

  • avatar

    They were… however, we know how that turned out. Inventories around here are larger now than they were at the beginning of the month.

    The sales people and sales managers must not go out onto the lot very often. In my recent experience they aren’t yet ready to “deal”. By that I mean sale price = (invoice, minus dealer incentive, minus any cash on hood). They can keep the hold-back and move the metal.

    $1500 rebate in addition to invoice selling price would also help Toyota sales. 0% financing in a world where the Fed Rate is 1% and falling is no great deal.

  • avatar

    Even with the 0% giveaway on “legendary Toyota quality” chuckle, cough, they come away with a 26% drop?

    I figured they’d drink everyone’s milkshake in October….there’s less ice cream to go around I guess.

  • avatar

    Just a guess, but I suspect -25% is gonna look pretty good.
    Mark LaNeve would love to have Toyota’s problems.

  • avatar

    I can’t wait until every car companies withdraws all advertising from TV and newspapers, and tell their dealers to do the same. Then you’ll find the pressure building for a bailout. I mean, who wants an unemployed journalist.

  • avatar

    Raskolinkov-“legendary Toyota quality”

    Considering Toys showing in JDP VDS, CR and True delta this year I would say the legend is alive and well.
    I don’t own one or even like most of their products, but credit where it is due.

    GM “cough”, is below average in all of those.

    Just sayin’


  • avatar

    Was Toyota’s month “saved by zero”?

    Not so much.

  • avatar

    Toyota is now the “canary in the coal mine.” When Toyota suffers a drop in sales of this magnitude, you know it’s bad out there.

  • avatar

    Banked Cash Reserves Keep Toyota Afloat as Automakers Crumble Around It

  • avatar

    Toyota’S apparently trying to sell cars instead of making excuses for why it isn’t selling cars.

    Saved by 0 is going to be GM’s nail in the coffin – Toyota may have dropped, but all they need to do is not drop as much as GM in order to claim market share.

  • avatar

    Everyone is poking fun at the “Saved By Zero” ad. Apparently it did something because everyone is referring to it.Guarantee you can hear that commercials music in your head, not to mention their logo was burned into your brain the entire time.

    Other than the too good to be true “Employee Pricing” for the 19th time. Name one domestic ad campaign you can even remember…

    And I believe the “saving” was for the consumer. If 0% isn’t a good deal, sign me up with your bank. I guess they pay you to drive your car.

  • avatar




    Have you driven a Ford lately?

    Like a rock.

    Drive one.

    An American revolution.

    I even remember Oldsmobile’s intrigue push with the X-Files motion picture.

    Advertising is advertising.

  • avatar

    Bunter –

    There was nothing “legendary” about the subpar interior of the Rav4 I rented in St. Louis 3 weeks ago. 9000 on the ODO and the thing had an annoying rattle in the dash ala ’98 Kia and flashing around the glove box, much like many a Camry I have rented. The materials were as hollow and cheap as those used in my ’96 Cavalier many moons ago (and that was a very cheap interior). Same goes for the FJ and Tundra at the Indy auto show this past January. When it comes to interiors, they’re headed down the wrong path if they’re bragging about “legendary quality.”

    And recall for the past 3 or so years Buick and Cadillac were in the top 5 or better in the JD Power VDS yet all we heard was how bad all GM vehicles were. As the owner of a 15 year old Buick, I can attest that Buick deserves a friggin solid gold tri shield for this thing surviving what I have put it through.

  • avatar


    I don’t doubt that interior of RAV-4 had ruttles, after all it is light SUV/CUV. I drive CR-V’s and Vibe GT (matrix in disguise) and all vehicles have ruttles. It is not unusual for wagons and hatchbacks. I guess it is one of the reasons why wagons/hatchbacks are not popular in US. Sedan will have much “tighter” body, square geometry will ruttle and shake, not much you can do about it.

  • avatar

    TheImportSpecialist :

    The car you can’t ignore.

    That thing got a Hemi in it?

    Grab life by the horns.

    The Cadillac Monologues

    A different kind of car

    And while it may seem that I’m poking fun at Toyota for their nauseating ‘Saved by Zero’ advertising, my desire was more to make fun of all those who pranced around proudly proclaiming that this financing campaign would be the deathblow to GM. No matter how you slice and dice it, a 26-percent sales decline is a 26-percent sales decline. Certainly not as disastrous as what GM has experienced, but it’s obvious that this campaign has not been as effective as Toyota cheerleaders thought it would be.

  • avatar

    I swear to God that if I hear that Saved by Zero commercial again, the voices in the old noggin are just going to lose it!!!
    Is it too much to ask to get a good commerical out of these guys? While other automakers actually show their cars to actually advertise that car (Nissan and BMW anyone?), all Toyota does is market their weekly/monthly/yearly deals and that has helped turn their cars into an appliance that you check the Sunday ad for Best Buy.
    The cracks are showing at Toyota. Other car makers would do their best, even in these trying times, to fill those cracks.

  • avatar

    Familiar with the term “anecdotal evidence”?
    Examples of one are meaningless.
    I’m glad your Buick has been good. It’s only one car.

    And I agree that Gm makes some well built cars, and I realize Toyotas are not perfect.

    Yet in survey after survey, from various sources GM averages below the industry mean and Toyota continues to average well above and it is news when their vehicles come up short. There are always GM vehicles at or near the bottom, it causes little comment as it is expected.

    Please note that the three vehicles that were below average in the 2007 CR survey (Tundra, Camry V6, GS) from Toyota have improved. They take care of their problems quickly.
    If you track individual GM problems they can go on for a decade or more.

    There are excellent reasons Toyota has won the publics trust and excellent reasons GM has lost it.
    The reasons are still firmly in place.
    And the trend of market share for each remains linked to their respective performance.


  • avatar

    The fact that both Honda and Toyota numbers are down by an almost identical 25.x percent, shows that (unbelievably), “Saved by Zero” was irrelevant to Toyota. Honda did not have a similar incentive program.

    Obviously consumers are just sitting on their wallets, and nothing short of giving them a car for 75% off sticker is going to produce any takers.

  • avatar

    Toyota saved by zero? Zero sales? Things slipping a bit in Tokyo. Time to panic? Perhaps.

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