Toyota Reports Solid Sales Figures for 2017 Despite Industry-Wide Downturn

Lexus took a hit, but overall sales are down only slightly for the world’s largest auto manufacturer in total.

byJoe D'Allegro| UPDATED Jan 8, 2018 8:53 AM
Toyota Reports Solid Sales Figures for 2017 Despite Industry-Wide Downturn

Toyota's North American division reported sales of 2,129,383 in 2017, up .5% from 2016, but Lexus' North American operations saw sales drop to 305,132 in 2017, down 7.9% from the year earlier, according to company sales stats released this week. The holding company of the two units—Plano, Texas-based Toyota Motor North America—saw overall sales dip .6% to 2,434,515 vehicles. 

Toyota Motor Corporation remains the largest automaker on Earth and seems to have had better 2017 North American sales than some competitors despite a small downturn in units moved.

The company's sales were slow in the beginning of 2017 but picked up later in the year, noted Jack Hollis, group vice president and general manager of the Toyota division, in a sales conference this week. “We finished 2017 on a high note, reflecting the continued strength of our product portfolio and establishing Toyota as the number-one retail brand for the sixth year in a row,” he stated. 

Overall auto industry sales remain strong, Hollis said, with expected North American sales of 17.2 million—the third year in a row with sales above 17 million.

Though the marketplace continues to favor crossovers and trucks, Hollis pointed out that the redesigned Camry introduced late last year has been a success. Sales in the fourth quarter of 2017 were the make's best-ever with 104,574 units sold, he claimed. 

Sales of the RAV4 crossover were also solid, exceeding 400,000 units in 2017, more than double the sales from three years earlier.

Though overall stats were down in 2017, Lexus General Manager Jeff Bracken noted that the division's SUVs had their best year ever with sales growing 2.9%. “In 2018, Lexus dealers will have even more options for customers as we bring 15 all-new and special-edition models to the market.” He noted that the LC luxury coupe was off to a solid start with 2,500 samples sold since May, and heralded new variants of existing models such as a three-row RX crossover and a two-row LX with expanded cargo room.

Bracken reported that North American consumers bought more than 27,000 of the three-row GX SUV in 2017, up 8.1% over 2016, and that sales of the flagship LX rose 5 percent to 6,000. Meanwhile, at the other end of the size spectrum, sales of the NX and NX hybrid small crossover totaled 59,341 for the year—the best sales since the model was introduced in 2015, he noted