By Colin Bird on June 1, 2011
Toyota said today that it will initiate new incentives for key products for June. The news comes after a poor sales showing in May.
Incentives will be offered on many of Toyota’s best-selling vehicles, such as the Toyota Camry, and others, like the Tundra pickup.
The Camry is being offered with 0% financing for 60 months nationwide and lease rates below $200, said Bob Carter, group vice president and general manager of the Toyota division. That nationwide incentive is significant because Toyota typically offers only region-specific deals.Zero-percent financing for 60 months will also be available nationwide on the Tundra. Special lease and financing rates will also be available on the Toyota Corolla, Sienna, Highlander, Venza and Avalon.
Toyota is ready to offer more incentives now that production on key products is returning to normal levels after the earthquake and tsunami in Japan disrupted normal supplies in March.
In fact, North American production will return to about 70% normal in June, up from only 30% in May, Carter said. About 70% of the vehicles Toyota sells in the U.S. are assembled in the U.S., including the Avalon, Camry, Corolla, Highlander, Matrix, RAV4, Sienna, Sequoia, Tacoma, Tundra, Venza and the Lexus RX 350. However, many of the parts still come from Japan. Camry, Corolla, Sienna and Highlander production will return to 100% normal production levels in June, Carter said.
This is good news for an automaker that suffered a loss of 27.9% in terms of May sales. Not one Toyota product reached the top 10 best-seller list, a place where the Corolla and Camry had been fixtures for decades. The automaker placed fourth in terms of gross sales, behind Chrysler and Ford. Toyota had been battling GM for the mantle of the best-selling automaker before it encountered recall issues involving millions of vehicles.
Toyota blames tight supply for its latest sales results. Supply levels for the Camry (35 days), Corolla (30 days) and Prius (10 days) were much too low to sustain normal sales throughput.
Heading into June, inventories will continue to build up at dealerships, says Carter, and will continue to pick up steam in July and August.
More of the popular Prius hybrid will be available, too, throughout the summer. Toyota expects to get at least 36,000 of the hybrids from Japan in the coming months, which should restore inventory to normal levels.
Prius inventory fell 47.4% in May due to limited supplies. Restoring Prius production remains a top priority for the automaker, Carter said. So if you're shopping for a Prius, it might be wise to wait until more are available.