Kurt Verlin
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2019 Was Toyota RAV4’s Best Year Yet

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2019 Toyota RAV4 XSE
Toyota RAV4, the best-selling SUV in America
Photo: Toyota

Toyota RAV4 sales in 2019 were up 6.8 percent in December and 4.9 percent for the year, marking an all-time best-ever year with the RAV4 Hybrid finishing 2019 strong with sales up 92.3 percent. The Tacoma also had its best year, up 1.3 percent, while the Land Cruiser experienced a sharp spike upward in December with sales up 101.1 percent.

Overall Toyota 2019 U.S. sales were down 1.78 percent overall compared to 2018, reflecting the general industry trend. For the fourth consecutive year, the U.S. auto industry managed to top 17 million units, though the total was just 200,000 shy of 2018’s 17.3 million figure as several major automakers like Toyota suffered a decline in the fourth quarter.

Unsurprisingly, as with the rest of the industry, Toyota car sales were down in favor of utility vehicles. The company’s car division was down four percent overall compared to 2018, with only the Corolla showing improvements, though a mild 0.4 percent one at that — in part thanks to the Corolla Hatchback, which finished up 5.2 percent for its best-ever year.

Toyota sold 801,403 cars in the United States in 2019, or 894,063 if you include its Lexus-badged luxury vehicles, though its car division was soundly beaten by its truck division. Toyota SUVs were up 0.8 percent overall with 875,372 vehicles sold, but pickups were down 0.9 percent overall with 363,917 units sold.

Related: How Toyota’s product line focuses on efficiency

This adds up to a 0.8 percent decline compared to 2018, but if you include Lexus SUV sales — which were up 5.6 percent — Toyota is almost entirely dead even with last year’s performance: 1,533,360 utility vehicles sold in 2019 versus 1,532,610 in 2018.

All combined, Toyota sold 2,383,349 vehicles in the United States in 2019, down 1.78 percent from the 2,426,673 it sold in 2018.

Despite declining car sales, Toyota hybrid sales rose 26.3 percent, and 2,884 units of the all-new GR Supra were sold. That’s less than the 86, which totaled at 3,398 units but had a six-month head start. Since July, the Supra outsold the 86 by over 66 percent.

“2019 was a strong year for Toyota. We retained our number one spot in hybrid, passenger car, SUV, small truck and retail sales,” said Jack Hollis, group vice president and general manager, Toyota division. “But we’re not stopping there. We’re preparing for an even better year in 2020 as we debut new vehicles and continue to dominate the hybrid and mobility space.”

Related: 10 reasons to buy a Toyota