In a January 2012 sales conference call, Toyota division group vice president and general manager Bob Carter reported some surprising results.
Recovering from its mid-2011 slump, Toyota sold 124,540 units from its Toyota, Lexus and Scion divisions. Those sales translate to a 7.5 percent increase over last January. Toyota enjoyed a 9 percent increase in sales for January, thanks in tremendous part to a 56 percent jump in sales for the all-new Camry.
Surprisingly, the Camry garnering the highest customer demand is the sport trim Camry SE. Moreover, the Camry SE even helped Toyota bring in an unprecedented number of new and young buyers. Responding to the new trend, Carter said “demand for the SE model continues to top the Camry lineup and we could have sold more in January if we had them. So we’re adjusting our SE production mix in order to better meet customer demand in the months ahead, going from about 8 percent for the previous generation Camry, to more than 40 percent for the current production mix.”
As for Toyota hybrids, the Camry Hybrid’s modest 2,100-unit January sales represent a 146 percent increase from last year. Carter expects sales to increase as availability improves, announcing an annual sales target of 50,000 Camry Hybrids for 2012.
Toyota intends to continue its marketing focus on Camry, especially by dedicating airtime during the Super Bowl and the Daytona 500, where the Camry will also serve as the official pace car. Toyota’s notoriously bland midsize family sedan just got interesting.