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Toyota Motor Slightly Declined in the US in 2019, RAV4 Sales Maintained Record High Level
Toyota’s (including Lexus) light vehicle sales in the United States fell 1.8% year-on-year in 2019 to 2.3 million units. Although sales have declined for the fourth consecutive year after peaking at 2.49 million units in 2015, sales volume has remained above 95% of the peak level in 2019, maintaining strong performance. As the US market as a whole fell 1.5%, Toyota's share declined slightly to 14.0%. While passenger vehicles dropped 4.9% to 850,000 units, light trucks increased 750 units to 1.53 million units, indicating that the trend of shifting demand to SUVs continues.
Looking at the sales trends of major models in 2019, sales of the RAV4, Toyota’s best-selling model in the United States since 2017, increased 4.9% to 448,000 units, maintaining the top position. In addition to the full-model change of the RAV4 in the US market in November 2018, sales were also boosted by the RAV4 Hybrid strong performance, increasing 92.3% to 93 thousand units in 2019. The RAV4 Hybrid went into production at Toyota’s Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky factory in the US in January 2020. Local production of the model is expected to further increase sales. The Camry, which is the second best-selling model after RAV4, fell 1.9% to 337,000 units. More than two years have passed since its overhaul, and it appears that demand has tapered off. However, the HEV version increased 13.7% to 26,000 units. The Corolla inched up 0.4% to 305,000 units. The model was fully-redesigned in March 2019 and Toyota added a HEV version as well. Although the Tacoma’s sales increased significantly in 2018 due to the adoption of the TSS advanced safety system as standard equipment, sales only went up 1.3% to 249,000 units in 2019.
Looking at the Lexus brand, the ES increased 5.9% to 51,000 units and the UX skyrocketed 37 times to 17,000 units. Marked increase in HEV sales boosted both models’ sales results. Toyota has not announced a US sales target for 2020, but is likely to aim to maintain a level close to the previous year.
Toyota aims to increase electric vehicle sales share to over 15% by 2020 in the US. In 2019, Toyota’s electric vehicle sales share approached its target of 11.5%, up 2.7 points, thanks to a significant increase in sales of HEVs such as the RAV4, Lexus ES and UX. In addition to starting local production of the RAV4 Hybrid in 2020, the launch of the RAV4 Prime (PHEV) is scheduled for the summer. It appears that sales of the RAV4 will continue to have a significant impact on Toyota’s US sales.