2020-2021 Toyota News from ToyoLand
2021 sales: Toyota beats GM in the USA
Toyota, already the world’s best selling automaker, was the first company in 90 years to displace General Motors in U.S. sales for 2021—selling 2,332,262 vehicles to GM’s 2,218,228.
December sales fell well below those of December 2020, dropping by 28%, but year to date, Toyota USA sales rose by 11%.
The best selling Toyotas were the RAV4 (407,739—down 5%), Camry (313,795—up 7%), Highlander (275,128—up 24%), Corolla (248,993—up 6%), and Tacoma (252,520—up 6%).
Some vehicles fell in sales; not counting the discontinued Yaris and GS, these were the GR86/FR-S (down 54%), Lexus RC (down 21%), C-HR (down 16%), Tundra (down 24%), and Lexus LX (down 20%).
The Tundra is slated for replacement with a brand new model.
Toyota’s 2021 gambles, a new Venza that bears little resemblance to the prior version and the only-hybrid Sienna, did very well. Sienna sales more than doubled, from 42,885 to 107,990, and may well have taken the minivan sales crown from Chrysler. The Venza shot up from 13,073 to 61,988.
Toyota’s hydrogen fuel cell vehicle is sold in California and limited other markets, witih a starting price of $49,500 for XLE and $66,000 for Limited. Power is 182 hp, 300 pound-feet, with a single speed rear wheel drive drivetrain. LED headlights and many safety features are standard. Range is 402 miles.
2022 Tundra glimpses
In addition to the tailgate shown below, and the dramatically ugly front, we’re told that engineers prioritized long-term durability and quality over new features.
Big Tundra headlight recall
(September 10, 2021) Toyota is recalling Toyota Tundras made from June 6, 2017 through March 24, 2021 because both the high and low beams can be turned on at once, overheating the area and causing a fire which can spread or, in the opposite direction, making the headlights impossible to use.
This only affects halogen headlights, not LEDs. The problem was caused by a design flaw in the circuits. The recall number is 21V-688; dealers have been notified and owners will be notified in October to November. Owners who have paid to have the fix done will be reimbursed. Dealers will inspect the wiring harness assembly, if needed, replace the wiring harness assembly, headlight bulb connector, headlight assembly, and bulb.
There have been 18 field reports, with six fires and 47 warranty claims.
Toyota slashing production
The chip shortage hit Toyota long after most companies, but it hit with a vengeance. Starting this month (August 2021) and running into next month (September 2021), Toyota is cutting its production on a global scale by around 40%. Toyota dealers, already facing inventory shortages as car demand has continued in the face of shortages at other automakers, will face the same situation other dealers are already facing: willing customers and a bare pantry.
After many years, the Camry-based, USA-engineered Toyota Avalon is leaving at the end of the 2022 model year. So says Automotive News, basing their report on scuttlebutt among suppliers. The Avalon was one of a very small number of mass-market large sedans, and sales have been disappointing (scroll down to see specifics) despite a recent redesign. That leaves large-sedan buyers with three choices: Dodge Charger, Chrysler 300, and Nissan Maxima, in that order. (In the last sales numbers, the Charger outsold the Maxima by four to one in the United States).
Large sedans don’t sell well in Japan or Europe, and the tastes of large-car buyers have shifted quite rapidly to crossovers and SUVs—like the Toyota Highlander, which outsold the Avalon by around 14:1 in the USA for the first half of 2021.
Japanese Land Cruiser updates released; no USA version
Link: Toyota—the insurrectionist’s automaker?
Toyota is a Japanese company, though it has created wholly-owned “American” companies for its various activities in the United States (partly to evade paying agreed-on pensions). As such, some may find it odd that the company has given large campaign contributions to people who wish to overthrow the United States’ elected government, but they have done so—as this mildly satirical piece, which calls in the names of nearly every Toyota sold in the US (and one still only in Japan), points out.
Toyota excels in second-quarter sales
The second quarter sales race was all about who controlled their supply chain well enough to keep building cars, and only one company really showed their stuff—Toyota. The company turned in a stunning 33% gain for the quarter—44% year-to-date. While last year covered COVID, not every automaker was able to actually produce enough cars to feed their dealerships.
For the quarter, compared to the same quarter in 2020, Toyota-branded cars rose by 58% and Lexus-branded cars rose by 45%. For SUVs, Toyota rose by 19% while Lexus grew by 24%. In trucks—Tacoma and Tundra—Toyota turned in a 58% increase.
The Sienna has been a surprise hit, more than tripling its Q2-2020 sales, and coming out of nowhere to clobber the Chrysler Pacifica. While the Pacifica was ahead for Q2, 13,229 to 8,834, year-to-date the Sienna is well over the Chrysler, 57,642 to 47,571.
The RAV4 continues to be the country’s favorite SUV/CUV, with 36,027 sales for the quarter and 221,195 year-to-date, on track to break 400,000 again. It remains Toyota’s best seller by a good margin, beating the Tacoma and Tundra combined, not to mention quite a few full-line brands; The RAV4 along beat Dodge, Chrysler, Fiat, and Alfa Romeo, all combined. It also sells about twice as well as any particular Jeep.
The other top Toyota crossover is the big Highlander, which posted 144,380 sales year to date, up 83% from 2020; in the quarter it was up 71%, to 24,036.
Over in sedans, the top sellers are always the Camry and Corolla, which with the Civic and Accord traditionally dominate sedans in the United States. So far this year, Toyota has built 177,671 Camrys (again, as many as all Dodges and all Chryslers combined), with sales up 43%; and 155,531 Corollas, with sales up 42%. While of course all sales are being compared to a terrible year, these numbers are quite good and reveal that the death of the sedan is somewhat overstated.
The Mirai fuel-cell vehicle had a tremendous percentage increase in sales, rising 354%, from 24 to 109 sales in Q2; that’s not quite as good as the YTD 664% rise from 209 to 1,597 sales.
The only real losers, among vehicles that are still made, were the Avalon—down 22% for the quarter but still up 37% year-to-date, and turning in 10,328 sales for the year so far; the Lexus RC, down 2% for the quarter and up 12% for the year; the C-HR, down 37% for the quarter but up 14% for the year; and the Tundra, down 11% for the quarter and 9% for the year, largely because a new model is coming.
Toyota vs Honda (April 7)
Honda and Toyota have long been rivals in the USA. How did they fare in Q1 2021?
|Compact car (Civic, Corolla)||55,903||72,520|
|Midsize car (Accord, Camry)||46,951||78,151|
|Minivan (Odyssey, Sienna)||20,066||26,578|
|Pickup (Ridgeline, Tacoma)||12,570||66,449|
|Compact CUV (CR-V, RAV4)||93,766||114,255|
|Larger CUV (HR-V, Highlander)||26,175||63,831|
|Total||347,091 (+16%)||603,066 (+22%)|
Sales leaped up in the first quarter of 2021
Toyota US sales jumped up in the first quarter of 2021, with an overall gain of 22% (20% Toyota brand, 32% Lexus).
The biggest gainers in percentages were the Mirai and Land Cruiser, jumping up 491% and 209% respectively; that is less exciting when you realize Mirai had quarterly sales of 869 and Land Cruiser 1,896. More important might be the gains across the Lexus line—every Lexus truck but the UX posted huge gains, from the NX (28%) to the LX (58%). Among Lexus cars, the dead GS fell by 92%, not surprisingly, while the RC stayed about the same; but the IS rocketed up by 122%, to 6,028 sales, and the other cars had good gains as well.
In the regular-guy line, the Tacoma rose by 24% while the long-obsolete, soon-to-be-replaced Tundra fell by 12% as Chevy, Ford, and Ram duke it out. The Sienna minivan made a surprise comeback, despite its new hybrid-only design, more than doubling sales; it reached 26,578 sales. That’s not going to topple the Chrysler Pacifica anytime soon, but it annualizes to six figures.
The mainstream Toyota cars all stopped their skids and posted gains for the quarter, led by the Avalon with a surprise 26% gain; like the Camry and Corolla, it is all brand-new and TNGA based. The old best-selling Camry went up by just 1%, which is better than falling, while the Corolla rose by 5%. Camry had 78,151 sales for the quarter, and Corolla had 72,520; compare that to, say, 19,740 Dodge Chargers sold during the same period (you can even add in the 5,400 Chrysler 300s and 15,096 Dodge Challengers, and Toyota would be far ahead).
These are respectable sedan sales. Yet they were made to seem trivial by the RAV4’s 114,255 sales—a 17% gain. In the higher end, 63,831 Highlanders reflected a 33% sales gain; the Sequoia, old as it is, managed 2,037 sales (up 45%) and 4Runner added 37,263. The new Venza, slotting between the slow-selling C-HR and the RAV4, managed 13,623 sales. (It might be slow-selling for Toyota, by the way, but the C-HR nearly hit Jeep Renegade numbers.)
Toyota reporting hefty profits for 2020
Toyota reported a hefty $9.5 billion profit in the last quarter, with net income rising to $8 billion for the final quarter of 2020. The company expects to post a $19 billion operating profit for the fiscal year ending March 31, which would be a record. They sold 9.5 million cars and trucks in the world in 2020, including Daihatsu and Hino, making it the world’s largest automaker; their forecast is now 9.7 million for 2021. Toyota sold 10.5 million vehicles in 2019.
2020 USA sales: down by 12%, Corolla and Camry hit
Toyota sold a total of 9.53 million cars and trucks in the world in 2020, including Daihatsu and Hino, making it the world’s largest automaker. Volkswagen had taken that place from 2016 to 2019, but was hit harder but COVID, which pushed VW sales down by 24% versus Toyota’s 15% drop. Global auto sales were 76.8 million across all brands and segments, giving
2020 USA sales: down by 12%, Corolla and Camry hit
Toyota sold a total of 9.53 million cars and trucks in the world in 2020, including Daihatsu and Hino, making it the world’s largest automaker. Volkswagen had taken that place from 2016 to 2019, but was hit harder but COVID, which pushed VW sales down by 24% versus Toyota’s 15% drop. Global auto sales were 76.8 million across all brands and segments, giving Toyota a 12.4% market share.
2020 USA sales: down by 12%, Corolla and Camry hit
A sea of red ink swept across Toyota’s U.S. sales for 2020—as it did across most automakers. Toyota’s mainstay cars, the Camry and Corolla, took serious hits of 13% and 22% despite being better, and better equipped, than in prior years. The Avalon fell by 34%, too. The Sienna fell by a stunning 42%, while the mainstay RAV4 fell by just 4%, allowing it to outsell pretty much any two Jeeps. Highlander sales were down by 11%. In trucks, the Tacoma fell by 4% and the Tundra by 2%, which were actually decent numbers considering stronger Detroit competition in both fields.