Toyota, Nissan and Honda Rise in February
Showcasing how low fuel prices are fueling the light-truck trend, body-on-frame SUVs were’s biggest gainers in February.
The4Runner rose 32.0% and the Lexus LX jumped 81.1%, helping the No.1-selling Japanese automaker to a 4.2% increase in the U.S. (there were the same number of selling days last month as in February 2015). Overall, Toyota sold 187,954 vehicles in the U.S. last month.
Toyota and Lexus’s smallest, car-based utilities also played a role in the positive month, with the RAV4 compact CUV recording its best February sales, 25,523, and the RAV4-based Lexus NX up 39.1% to 3,709.
With the exception of the discontinued FJ Cruiser and Venza models, as well as the Tundra fullsize truck, all Toyota-brand light trucks saw increases last month, including the body-on-frame Sequoia and Land Cruiser, rising 11.5% and 11.7%, respectively.
Nearly all Lexus light trucks were in the black, minus the GX SUV which slipped 0.2%.
The recently redesigned RX rose 10.8%.
Toyota cars managed to eke out a small gain in February. The Corolla, up 5.4% to 29,342, was the only Toyota or Scion nameplate above year-ago. The 6-month-old Scion iA and iM added roughly 3,600 units, offsetting Prius, Yaris, Camry and Avalon declines.
Among Lexus cars, all model lines (barring the discontinued, low-volume LFA supercar) fell below year-ago levels.
The Lexus GS was the car losing the most volume, down 37% from February 2015.