Kurt Verlin
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Toyota Canada Reports Record March Sales

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2021 Toyota Highlander Platinum Hybrid AWD in Ruby Red Pearl, one of the best performers for Toyota Canada March sales
The Toyota Highlander Hybrid AWD was a top sales performer in March.
Photo: Toyota

It’s been over 12 months since last year’s COVID-19 shutdown began and Toyota Canada has done more than just recover. With 21,121 vehicles sold in March 2021, the automaker not only brought sales back to pre-COVID levels, but set a new record altogether.

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Though understandably skewed, the year-over-year data is nonetheless impressive. Toyota Canada reports that sales were up 103.2 percent for the Toyota division and up 94.1 percent for the Lexus luxury division. It also reports overall sales of 46,648 for the first quarter, boosted by the RAV4, Highlander, 4Runner, and CH-R’s record-breaking performances.

You’ll note that all of these are SUVs, and that won’t be a surprise if you’ve paid any attention to the auto industry over the past few years. Big vehicles are selling like hotcakes while smaller cars have lost their luster. That said, if anyone can still sell sedans, it’s Toyota — the Camry and Corolla remain among the bestselling cars in North America.

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Toyota Canada also reports that its electrified vehicles set a sales record for the third consecutive month. Hybrid vehicles made up almost a third of the company’s overall sales in March, and were up nearly 130 percent for the quarter. They were led by the RAV4 Hybrid, Highlander Hybrid, and all-new Sienna Hybrid minivan. Do any of these names look familiar? It seems the key to making electrified powertrains popular is to pack them into big vehicles.

Still, the share of electrified sales is growing. In the second part of 2020, Toyota Canada’s hybrid vehicle sales made up a little over 20 percent of the total. In 2019, it was just under 15 percent. The automaker is aiming for 40 percent across North America by 2025, and with Canada’s help, it may just get there.