By on August 3, 2010

Toyota pulled back on incentives last month, and paid the price with a 6.8 percent decline in sales compared to July 2009. Between this and the fact that year-over-year comparisons are skewed by July 2009‘s Cash-For-Clunkers effect, it’s almost no surprise that Toyota’s smaller and value-oriented models were almost uniformly down on the month. But a look at last July’s report shows that the Yaris, Corolla and the Scions actually lost volume during the first month of Cash-For-Clunkers. A similar situation is playing out at Honda, where the Fit has fallen for the second July in a row, and the Civic dropped hard after gaining only three percent last July. Stranger still: both firms, which earned their US market spurs on the back of efficient cars, beat their July 2009 “truck” numbers but failed to match car volume. My, how things change!

Of course, there are good explanations for elements of this phenomenon. Prius had a huge July last year, thanks in part to C4C, and it came down hard last month by comparison. Camry is roaring back compared to some of its post-recall performances, but still added only about 1,000 units of volume compared to last July. RAV4 also matched its strong July 2009 performance, boosting Toyota’s “light truck” performance. Lexus cars dropped about 1,000 units of year-over-year volume, nearly all of them from the IS line, while GX added about 600 units. Tacoma dropped about 3,000 units, but Tundra made back about the same volume.Among Toyota’s crossovers, vans and SUVs, only Highlander dropped significantly compared to last July, when it had a hot month.

At Honda, no single car nameplate experienced year-over-year growth. Had the Accord or Civic experienced a hot July last year, this might make some sense, but this was demonstrably not the case. For example, last July, Accord dropped nearly 30 percent compared to the July before, and last month it fell another 18 percent despite adding the new Crosstour variant. Meanwhile, every “light truck” in the Honda stable saw volume growth with only the Element and the CR-V failing to make major gains. To an even greater extent than Toyota, Honda is watching its Car and “truck” volume move closer together… and probably wondering what happened.

Full numbers below… please note that Toyota and Honda use Daily Selling Rates to calculate percentage changes.

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17 Comments on “Toyota Sales Decline 6.8 Percent In July, Honda Drops 5.6 Percent...”

  • avatar
    John Horner

    SUVs and Minivans have arisen from the dead.

  • avatar

    Ahhh, Scion, how the JDM have fallen.

    I remember when the xB was doing 6000 units a month.

    (2006, in case you’re wondering)

  • avatar

    No surprise here. It seems that people have now realized that they were lied to, and manipulated by these companies. People used to buy their Camrys and Accords as illusions of quality, safety, reliability, etc. But car buyers have gotten smarter and, at the same time, better alternatives have appeared.

    • 0 avatar

      Right you are, Dude.. Folks are keeping thier vehicles longer now. The repair costs are starting to pile up. The “oh my car is Japanese,it must be perfect” that myth is being shattered.

      While I’m certainly not a fan of Japanese vehicles,Honda and Toyota build a good solid vehicle, evident in the resale value. However they are NOT perfect.

      The Korean garbage is selling like hot cakes,and they ain’t half the car a Toyota is. Give it three or four years and we wil see eh.

    • 0 avatar
      Cammy Corrigan


      Do not ask me why, but I got a warm fuzzy glow when you gave respect to Toyota and Honda vehicles (Nissan was absent, coincidence?). I suppose it’s nice to see you have a balanced view even though you’re a GM-lifer! But you do realise that I’ll have to tell your CAW brethren that you “bigged-up” Japanese cars! I think the punishment is death, right? ;O)

      As for people keeping cars longer, I’m not sure that adds up against the figures. From the highs of 16m+ per year sold to the current year of about 12m+ it would suggest people are still getting rid of their cars after about 5 years. Mind you, if the economic implosion that Peter Schiff predicts come true, then that’ll be a true test of how reliable cars really are as people keep them for 10 years+ because no-one can afford to buy a new one.

      Or am I being paranoid?

    • 0 avatar

      @Cammy..No coincidence from what I see, at the five or six year mark, the Datsun’s can’t keep up with Honda and Toyota. In my new career’s I’m a part time detailer/parts delivery/car jockey/and junk yard customer sevice rep. My work involves a lot of dealing with five to twelve year old cars. I also see a lot of well dressed,well educated people driving such vehicles.

      I don’t believe we are going to see financial armagedden,but I do believe that people are keeping cars longer. This trend, IMHO is where we sort the men from the boys. If one is on a tight budget,the seven to ten year mark is when the domestics kick butt. Cheaper to buy, cheaper, and easier to fix,than Honda and Toyota.

      Yes the Honda/Toyota will not rattle as much,and the interior trim doesn’t fall off. Myself, I’d rather wrap duct tape around my domestic vehicles arm rest,than buy and install a starter on a nine year old Civic.

      Just for laughs, price a replacment rad for an Impala plus re and re. Do the same for a Camry. You might see what I’m talking about.

    • 0 avatar
      Cammy Corrigan


      Funny you see Toyota as pricey to upkeep as in the UK, Toyota have continally won surveys for their lost cost of parts and ownership. Hell, even Ford is more expensive than them!

      Anyway, I took your challenge up for pricing a replacement radiator.

      I chose a 2000 (a 10 year old car should be about old enough, right?) Toyota Camry XLE 4 cylinder 2.2l (most expensive I could find it its range against a Chevrolet Impala LS 6 cylinder 3.8l (again, most expensive it its range, to keep the comparison as fair as I could make it). The Chevrolet came out at $155.21. The Toyota? $85.71.

      Then I realised that the Impala is a class ABOVE the Camry and, therefore, the comparison wasn’t fair. So I found out the price for a 2000 Chevrolet Malibu LS 6 cylinder 3.1l (again, most expensive in its range to keep it fair). The price for a replacement radiator? $134.29.

      All links to where I found the prices can be found below so to show I wasn’t making this up. And yes, I have far too much time on my hands!

    • 0 avatar

      It has nothing to do with being “lied to.” Honda and Toyota still have lower levels of incentives than the domestics, and they are less likely to rely on fleet sales to artificially inflate sales numbers (particularly Honda).

      I have yet to see any domestic car consistently best the Camry, Corolla, Accord or Civic in test results or long-term reliability. The domestics are getting BETTER – no doubt about that – but they aren’t better yet, except maybe for the new Fiesta. The Fusion is close, and a viable alternative, but it’s not BETTER than the class leaders.

  • avatar

    Very disappointed at the increased sales of the FJ Cruiser and 4Runner (and Honda Pilot). The uglification of American roads only continues.

  • avatar

    Own a 2009 Scion xb myself and love it so far. I don’t see the quality much higher then the ford I drove in the past or my friends Gm or Chrysler cars. I bought it because it was the best wagon I could find for the price.

  • avatar

    Gas prices are stable this summer and it shows. Economy models are way down and van, truck and SUV sales rebounded. Average Americans want what average Americans want, no matter what enthusiasts and greenies on the internet think.

    We need to see sales charts from the Korean brands to see if I am not right and they have taken the low end of the market away from Toyonda. As a recent Fit buyer I can tell you that American Honda isnt importing very many of them. The Honda dealer lots are choked with Accords and usually only a couple of Fits are in stock. So, slow Fit sales may be more a matter of supply instead of demand.

  • avatar

    Who makes these charts?

    Honda Element, July 09: 1516
    Element, July 10: 1551
    Honda sold 35 MORE Elements this July, but the chart shows a decrease of 1.5%.

    Camry July 09: 33,974
    Camry July 10: 35,058
    Toyota sold 1084 more Camries(sp?) this July, an increase of 3%, but the chart shows a decrease of 0.6%.

    The delta for the Toyota Dom Pickup is wrong too.

    Haven’t these people ever heard of spreadsheets?

  • avatar

    The sheeple may finally beginning to awake from their dull car induced comas to realize they actually have other viable choices!

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