updated 8/2/2005 2:00:19 PM ET 2005-08-02T18:00:19

Toyota Motor Corp., Japan's biggest automaker, on Tuesday reported a strong gain in U.S. vehicle sales for last month amid a spike in demand for its Toyota- and Lexus-brand cars.

The company sold 216,417 cars and trucks in July, an increase of 12.3 percent from 200,206 units the year before. Car sales jumped 16.3 percent to 122,058, while truck sales rose a moderate 7.4 percent to 94,359.

Overall monthly volume of Toyota-brand vehicles advanced 12.6 percent to 189,855 units, with sales of Prius hybrids nearly doubling to 9,691 and Avalon sedans almost tripling to 9,432. Toyota's best-selling Camry sedan saw a steady 7.7 percent increase to 43,004 vehicles.

Sales of Toyota light trucks also lifted results, with a 42.9 percent rise in volume for the Sienna minivan more than offsetting a 12.6 percent drop in demand for the 4Runner sport utility vehicle, the company said.

In its Lexus division, overall sales were up 9.8 percent to 26,562 vehicles last month. Lexus GS volume surged, while its LX and GX SUVs also reported increases.

Year to date, Toyota has sold 1.3 million vehicles, up 11.7 percent from 1.2 million a year ago, with car sales rising 19.5 percent and truck demand advancing 2.8 percent.

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