March 2013 Sales Conference Call Notes

March 2013 Sales Conference Call
Tuesday, April 2, 2013


March 2013 Sales Conference Call (audio clip)


TMS National Business and Field Communications Manager Celeste Migliore:

Good day and thank you for joining us to review Toyota’s March sales. 
 
Speaking today will be:
 
I’d like to take a moment and welcome Jeff in his new role at Lexus, which was announced last month. 
 
Jeff has filled in on these calls in the past as the vice president in charge of sales at the Toyota Division, and we look forward to hearing from him on a more regular basis as head of Lexus.
 
Following the call, our communications team will be available to field any additional questions
you may have.
 
Now I’d like to turn it over to Bob for a look at March results.

Bob Carter:
 
Thank you… 
 
Hello everyone, and thank you for joining us.
 
The auto industry continued its string of impressive monthly results in March, with sales approaching nearly 1.5 million vehicles. 
 
That’s more cars and trucks than the industry has sold in any one month in nearly six years, the best month since May of 2007.
 
At Toyota we accounted for more than 205,000 of those sales, our best month in three and a half years, since Cash for Clunkers in August of 2009.  
 
For the industry as a whole  
Through first quarter of 2013  
Industry fueled by Three Cs  
Plus increasingly positive economic indicators  
As a result  
Toyota, Lexus and Scion in March   
Toyota Division in March
From here on, I'll stick with purely volume comparisons.
 
Light trucks continue to perform extremely well  
RAV4 volume leader  
Sienna sales up 18 percent in March  
I saw a number of articles in the past week about the death of the minivan but as you can see, the Sienna is alive and well. 
 
Anytime you sell more than 100,000 vehicles in a year, that’s a very viable model in your lineup.
 
Now on the car side…
 
New Avalon continues to be well received  
Core products also did very well
Finally, Toyota Certified Used Vehicles  
Looking Ahead  
Toyota well positioned to take advantage of this growth  
In addition, we have some other surprises on the product side of the business in store for you a little later this year.
 
Now I’ll turn this over to Jeff for a look at Lexus. 

Jeff Bracken:

Thank you Bob, and good day everyone.
 
Before I comment on our sales and brand results for March, I’d like to introduce Steve Hearne to all of you.
 
Steve is our new vice president of sales for Lexus.  And like me, Steve also has prior Lexus experience.  Of course, as you would imagine, we both feel fortunate to return to Lexus, especially at a time with so much new product and an improving industry.
 
Since my first day was technically yesterday, I really can’t take any credit for such positive March sales results, but it feels like a great way to start out.
 
Our Command Performance sales event worked well for us
In addition to a strong month for sales, Lexus also realized the top brand position in JD Power and Associates’ Customer Satisfaction Index.
 
Thanks to our dealers’ on-going customer service focus earning the top CSI position, and February’s Vehicle Dependability Study leadership result, we feel we’re well on our way to match our customer service award success from last year. 
 
And now I’d like to open it up to Q&A.