Toyota’s all-new Camry will blitz the US market to regain sales lost after three years that included a recession, recalls and an earthquake. The new Camry was unveiled on Tuesday and is the first of 20 new and refreshed Toyota, Lexus and Scion models arriving by early 2013. Along with the Camry, Toyota this year will add the hybrid Prius v wagon, revamped Yaris subcompact, Scion iQ minicar and a modified Tacoma pickup truck. Vehicles to be released in 2012 include, a plug-in version of the Prius, compact Prius c hybrid, a new Lexus GS sport sedan, a battery powered RAV4 and a rear-wheel drive Scrion FR-S sports car. Toyota is determined to keep the Camry the top seelling passenger car, a position that has been held by the model for 13 of the past 14 years.
Toyota’s best year for the Camry was in 2007 with 473,108 units sold. However, through July, Camry sales slipped 7.8 percent to 174,485 from a year earlier. Hyundai has been very successful with the Sonata up 27 percent in sales during the same time frame. Nissan’s Altima has gained 17 percent to 153,182 during the same time period as well.
Camry’s have the largest owner base of any midsize sedan in the U.S with Toyota estimating that there are over 6.8 million of them on American roads. Toyota has also slashed the price on the 2012 model, as the company hopes to entice those who might be thinking about moving away from the automaker to look at other car brands.
The four-cylinder 2012 Camry LE with an automatic transmission has been priced at $22,500, $200 cheaper than last year. The SE model is also $1000 cheaper, selling for $23,000. The top-of-the-line XLE has been lowered by $2000, to $24,725 (all of these models are equipped with the four-cylinder engine).
Camry is symbolic of Toyota’s success, CEO Akio Toyoda said in a speech Tuesday marking the start of production of the model in Georgetown, Ky. “This is an opportunity to show the world what Toyota is all about,” said Toyoda, grandson of the automaker’s founder. “I can introduce the new Camry with 100 percent confidence,”, he said.
GALLERY: 2012 Toyota Camry
[Source: Automotive News]