It's True: Toyota Sold Fewer Cars in April Than Ford!

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
it s true toyota sold fewer cars in april than ford

Toyota sales (press release via declined a whopping 42 percent from last April, as the big T recorded only 126,540 unit sales last month. And the bleeding comes from all over the lineup. From bread-and-butter Camry and Corolla (down 36.7 and 42.9 percent, respectively) to the entire Lexus line (LS down 61.6 percent, GS down 70.2 and IS down 48 percent) and from trucks (Tundra down 54 percent) and SUVs (4Runner down 69.3 percent) to compacts (Scion xD sold only 880 units) it’s ugly all over. Toyota sold more Priora (8,385) than Yaris (8,118) while the RAV4 (11,126) sold better than Venza (3,793) and Highlander (5,595) put together. Other than RAV4, the only bright-ish point in an otherwise forgettable month was RX which sold 6,237 units (including hybrids) and was reportedly the top selling luxury vehicle in America last month. Total hybrid sales hit 12,223.

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  • Fincar1 Fincar1 on May 02, 2009

    We rented a 2009 Camry for a trip from western Washington to Las Vegas area and back. It reminded me of the Impala we rented for the same trip two years ago, certainly competent enough but not fun to drive. We liked last year's G6 GT a lot better.

  • Cynder70 Cynder70 on May 02, 2009

    I'm not sure anecdotal evidence can be extrapolated into proof that Toyota is failing. I don't see it but I do see some problems with dealers able to pick-n-choose their business, stale products and some quality problems with an expanding product line. If Toyota is smart, they will use the downturn in sales to refocus the Toyota brand, improve customer relations and allow the products to improve.

  • Quentin Quentin on May 02, 2009

    I think it is more of a cost issue. Toyotas have a price premium over most non-european competition and in today's economy, people aren't willing to spend $2k extra for the Toyota reputation. The feeling is that it is a new car, will be under warranty, so why should I spend $2k up front for potentially/likely better quality after the warranty runs out. Toyota claims they price their vehicles based on what the market will bear (rather than cost + $$$ margin). I would think that Toyota is going to have to start adjusting their prices to be more in line w/ the domestics. Since everyone is throwing in their anecdotal evidence, I'll include mine. I was looking at Venzas and Highlanders a couple weekends ago (was tossed the keys for each for a test drive, no questions asked even though I'm a 26 year old that doesn't look a day over 21, and I said I was probably not purchasing until fall at the absolute soonest. I guess having a business card that says "engineer" convinces most people, rightly or wrongly, you have the means to afford a Toyota.) Anyway, from what the dealer had on the lot, everything was pretty much a higher end model. Without actually going into price negotiations, the high sticker prices were certainly not something that made me want to go in and start negotiating prices. Basically, I feel the whole consumer confidence thing is likely hurting Toyota more than others because there is a price premium on an equivalent (on paper) product.

  • Ddr7 Ddr7 on May 02, 2009

    I just have to add one more thing, since Quentin was talking about the high initial price of Toyota. When I went to shop for Toyota and Honda, I said to myself, "this time I will not come empty handed", meaning, I will ck prices b-4 I actually go to a dealer, the Costco auto program looked like something I would like to try, I got to the Honda dealer, show the Costco card and was presented with a booklet with prices for every single car they sell, 3 columns, one show sticker, one show invoice and the last one was the amount you deduct or add to the invoice and that was the price you pay, with the Accord it was $400 less than invoice, when you go into a Toyota dealer, the story is not the same, they show you a general paper for Costco price, $600 OVER invoice and the invoice price of the car is coming from a printout from the dealer computer that was higher than anything I saw on any online listing. To me it looks a little weird, like they try to hide something from you, very different from the Honda approach.