Lexus USA has reported 35,325 total sales for December 2019, down 0.6% over last year — here’s the model-by-model breakdown:
|MONTH||Year to Date (*DSR)|
|2019||2018||% CHG*||2019||2018||% CHG*|
Lexus USA ended the 2019 calendar year with 298,114 vehicles sold, a meager 0.1% drop versus 2018’s 298,310 units. Disappointing as those numbers may be to some, especially in the face of record sales increases in a number of global markets and the occasional month when Lexus sales in China surpassed those in the U.S., the United States were still, in 2019, the world’s largest Lexus market by volume. (For the record, Lexus’ Chinese sales for the year totaled 200,521 units).
The bigger story, though, is Lexus’ continuing major shift away from cars and into crossovers and SUVs. Not that this industry-wide trend is a surprise to anyone at this point, but the numbers put this in stark perspective. For 2019, Lexus aggregate car sales totaled 80,975 units in 2019 versus 92,660 in 2018, a 12.6% decline. Conversely, the 2019 crossover and SUV sales total of 217,139 units represents a 5.6% increase versus 2018’s 205,650 units. In broader terms, for 2019 Lexus sales were roughly 27% cars and 73% SUVs, in contrast to 2018’s roughly 31% cars/69% SUVs ratio.
On the car side of things, only the RC and ES lines saw sales increases (36.7% and 5.9%, respectively) for 2019 versus 2018, with ES Hybrid sales up 72.8% for the year. All other car lines saw decreases ranging from 34.9% for IS to 48.8% for GS. (Fun fact: LFA supercar sales jumped by 50%, from 2 units sold in 2018 to 3 units in 2019).
Curiously, sales of Lexus’ 4 older crossover and SUV lines dipped slightly for 2019, ranging from a scant 0.5% drop for RX to a 5.4% decrease for NX. The overall increase in SUV sales is explained by the introduction of the marque’s 5th crossover line, the UX. Introduced in December 2018 (when it sold a scant 453 units), UX went on to sell 16,725 units for 2019 (including 1933 in December). This accounts for the eye-popping 326.7% increase in December 2019 versus December 2018 UX sales.
Even with these modest declines, RX sales alone surpassed the lump total of all Lexus car lines put together. NX reaffirmed its standing as the second most popular Lexus line in the U.S. after RX (but ahead of ES), with GX in fourth place and UX in sixth (behind IS).
Hybrid sales also saw an uptick, with NXh sales up 6.4% for the year, RXh up 2.9% and Lexus hybrid sales overall up 43.1% for the year, a best-ever mark.
Please note, all percentages are calculated by the Daily Sales Rate (DSR), which takes into account the number of days in the month that dealerships could sell cars. December 2019 had 25 selling days, December 2018 had 26 selling days.