Shelter in Place orders across the country have hit the automotive industry hard, as sales in March in the United States plummeted. Toyota was no exception.
Toyota Motor North America announced in early April that sales in March were 135,730 vehicles, a decrease of 36.9 percent on a volume basis and down 31.8 percent on a daily selling rate (DSR) basis versus March 2019. This impacted the auto maker’s first quarter, bringing it down 8.8 percent decrease on a volume and DSR basis.
“During this unprecedented time, Toyota’s number one priority is on the health and safety of our team members, business partners, customers and the communities where we do business,” said Bob Carter, executive vice president of sales, TMNA. “We have teams working around the clock to ensure our customers’ needs are satisfied, and despite the ever-changing market dynamics, we continue to take appropriate actions that serve our long-term business objectives.”
A shining light among the dismal news was that first quarter total hybrid sales were 58,814 units, up 58.1 percent on a volume and DSR basis.
Digging into the numbers show that Corolla has sold 69,214 units in 2020, down 12 percent from 2019’s 78,608 units in its first quarter. The Avalon sold 4,080 units in 2020, down 38.4 percent from 2019’s 6,619 units in its first quarter. The Lexus ES has sold 9,247 units, down 18.8 percent in comparison to 2019’s first quarter sales of 11,390 units.
Both of the trucks in Toyota’s Truck Division were down in sales, as well. The Tacoma has sold 53,636 units in 2020 so far, down 7.8 percent from the 2019 first quarter sales of 58,183. The Tundra has sold 21,658 units in 2020, compared to 25,100 units in 2019, which is a 13.7 percent decrease.
Toyota has a large manufacturing presence in the South. It has manufacturing plants in Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi and Texas.
Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky Inc. employs more than 8,000 workers making Camry, Camry Hybrid, Avalon, Avalon Hybrid, Lexus ES 350 and V-6 and 4-cylinder engines. Toyota Motor Manufacturing Texas Inc. produces the Tacoma and Tundra trucks. It employs 2,600 workers. Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi Inc. employs 1,500 workers assembling Corolla vehicles. Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama Inc. employs 1,100 team members making 4-cylinder, V-6 and V-8 engines.