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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Numbers might not mean much to most people, but this will put things into perspective: at 1.6 million units worldwide, BMW stood fast as the world’s largest luxury car brand. Those are worldwide sales figures. VW came close to the half-million mark in Europe alone and with just one model.
As far as American bravado is concerned, we can’t come close to touching those numbers. The top-selling car in the U.S. was the Toyota Camry with 308,510 units. To be fair, all you need to do is delve into the popular world of pickup trucks to find that the Ford F-150 sold about 100,000 more units in the States than the Golf did in Europe, but the fact remains that Volkswagen is killing the competition with their catchy compact.
If VW has its way, the Golf will remain in the top spot for its seventh generation— set to debut at the Paris Auto Show in September. Sales actually dropped by 2 percent last year, though such fluctuations are typical towards the end of a model cycle.
GALLERY: 2011 Volkswagen Golf
[Source: Automotive News]
There is less than a week until Christmas and if you’re looking for a gift that’s just plain bonkers we’re here to help. How about a 1991 Toyota Camry LE customized like a candy cane and decked out in what can only be described as hilarity and nonsense.
Despite the Providence, RI. seller, repeatedly insisting the car is not for sale during his advertisement, it can be had for a tiny buy-it-now price of $1.7 million on eBay. For that price it comes complete with the world’s smallest pogo stick instead of a spare tire, hopelessly goofy workout equipment on the roof, a live Boston terrier hood ornament and many other homespun features.
The price-tag might seem outrageous, but consider this: the silly Santa selling the car might actually be ahead of safety innovators like Volvo. His creation sports functional fashion: stripes that boast “900 candlepower” to make sure you not only see the car day or night, but that you’re as good as blind while driving behind it. If you get hit in this thing it’s probably intentional.
Not only that, but the car runs on insanity instead of gas— “eat your heart out, GM,” the seller says in his video. It’s probably true because you would have to be crazy to bid on this thing, or would you?
Right now there are 23 bids for the car, which is currently fetching $2025. Sure it falls short of the price tag, but what value can you really put on a car that really is unforgettable? The answer is just around the corner. Rhode Island’s funniest car will disappear from eBay on December 22 and we’re eagerly watching to see what people are willing to pay.
GALLERY: Candy Cane Toyota Camry
Watch the video below:
Kelly Blue Book Released their list of the 20 most researched vehicles and three of the top five spots belong the Honda products. The Civic and Accord placed first and second respectively, with the Toyota Camry in third, the Honda CR-V in fourth and the Ford F-150 in fifth.
The Hyundai Sonata and Elantra placed sixth and seventh respectively, with the Elantra cracking the top 20 for the first time. The top five brands overall were Toyota, Ford, Honda, Chevrolet and Hyundai, with the Toyota Prius as the sole hybrid on the list. Check out the full list below, after the jump.
The all-new 2012 Toyota Camry has received a five-star composite safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The redesigned 2012 Camry was able to achieve the five-star rating despite the NHTSA’s new, more rigorous testing procedure that’s targeted to raising the bar for overall vehicle safety.
Featuring a reinforced body structure that utilizes high-strength steel, the new Camry is able to withstand cabin deformity during certain severe collisions as well as absorb impact energies and as a result, help enhance occupant safety. Other features include 10 standard airbags, Toyota’s Star Safety System – which includes Vehicle Stability Control, Traction Control, Anti-Lock Braking System, Electronic Brake-Force Distribution, and Brake Assist – and Smart Stop brake-override technology. And as with all newer vehicles, the 2012 Camry will come equipped with tire pressure monitoring system as standard.
An optional feature available to the new Camry is Toyota’s Blind Spot Monitor, just another form of technology that Toyota is continuing to develop in order to help raise vehicle safety standards throughout their models.
The South Korean auto market has long been dominated by domestic automakers like Hyundai and Kia, but Toyota is planning to make a play by sending 6,000 American-built Camrys to South Korea.
Deliveries will begin starting in January, 2012. Toyota has been exporting the Sienna minivan since November, and also sells the Corolla, Prius and RAV4. Toyota is evidently looking to take advantage of a new free-trade agreement signed between the U.S. and South Korea, as well as take advantage of favorable exchange rates between Korea and the U.S.
Our big question is, with Korean cars (especially Camry competitors like the Hyundai Sonata and Kia Optima) so good noawadays, why would any Korean consumers even bother buying them.
[Source: Wall Street Journal]
12. Toyota Camry
While automakers and outside research firms publish sales figures and earnings reports on a regular basis, one metric we rarely get a glimpse of is how profitable each vehicle is. In an era of re-badging and platform sharing, one would think that the most profitable vehicles are those with a large number of derivatives to spread the cost around. But a new report from Bernstein Research suggests that two factors – price point and volume – are the keys to making big bucks off vehicles. And judging by the list, longevity seems to help as well.
Number 12 on the list is the Toyota Camry, and for good reason. The Camry has a number of factors in its favor – massive volumes, an accessible price point and its made in America (currency fluctuations, particularly a rise in the euro or yen, can make exports unprofitable). Bernstein’s report notes that high volume cars at a medium price point are one of the keys to profitability, and the Camry might be the textbook definition of this formula. The Camry’s twin, the Lexus ES350, was absent from the list, but no doubt earns its keep, as a gilded version of the Camry.
Toyota‘s new styling chief, Dezi Nagaya, wants to abandon the company’s previous conservative design language for a new direction that is “…more dynamic, more masculine, sportier, with a more obvious design theme and a face to represent the company and the brand.”
Nagaya’s challenge comes with creating a unified styling language that can span everything from the Land Cruiser to the Camry to the upcoming Scion FR-S, which will be sold as the Toyota FT-86 in Japan. Nagaya said that Toyota will adjust how aggressive their vehicles look, with volume models sticking to a relatively conservative direction while models like the FT-86 would be much more exciting.
Nagaya was previous responsible for the second generation Toyota Prius and the Lexus L-Finesse design language.
[Source: Automotive News]
Most people’s conception of tuner cars are brightly colored Honda Civics or other econoboxes with underbody neon lights, not to mention the requisite loud muffler.
But this heavily modified Toyota Camry has enough horsepower on hand to beat down nearly anything on four wheels, without giving away anything visually.
This mid-1990s Toyota Camry has a specially designed turbocharger setup mated to its 3.0L V6, with a giant T51 turbocharger helping to crank out the astronomical power figures. Check out the video below to see the Camry doing its thing on a dyno.
A Chinese inspection agency has alleged that Toyota vehicles are responsible for several fatal accidents. China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine claimed that the Toyota Camry, Prado and Reiz models have faulty brakes and drive shafts. The agency has yet to provide any details pertaining to the accidents , nor casualty information.
“All we know so far is what included in the agency’s statement,” said Toyota spokesman Liu Peng in an interview yesterday. “We are looking into the issue and will try to clarify the facts.”
Automobile ownership is steadily increasing, causing China’s government to increase efforts to control vehicle quality. Collisions have also spiked 36 percent to 3.9 million accidents in 2010, according to the Ministry of Public Security.
[Source: Left Lane News]
The jury is still out as to whether the Toyota Camry will retain its crown as the best selling car in America for the 10th straight year, but if it does, much of the reason will have to do with the hybrid model.
During the launch of the all-new 2012 Camry just a few weeks back, Toyota Group Vice President and General Manager Bob Carter announced that the company is forecasting sales of roughly 50,000 units for thew new gas-electric model, nearly double the 28,000 units moved last year.
Toyota’s prediction is well founded, with the Camry already touted as the winner in Toyota’s new Camry lineup. Perhaps the most significantly updated of the group, the Camry Hybrid makes a serious leap in fuel economy, offering a 41-mpg average, while also making a healthy 200-hp.
GALLERY: 2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid
Click here to read AutoGuide’s 2012 Camry review, or watch our video review after the jump:
Just days ahead of our first drive in the 2012 Toyota Camry and we have the first clear images of the most important new car that Toyota will launch in the next 12 months.
No specs were announced, and these images are supposedly the Australian-market car (which will look slightly different) but it looks about as predictable and Toyota-like as possible. Look for these to appear on dealer and rental car lots sometime in 2012.
Gallery: 2012 Toyota Camry Leaked
[Source: Vince Burlapp]
The Japanese earthquake disaster and the resulting supply disruption mixed up the Top 10 best-selling vehicles in June, allowing the Chevrolet Cruze compact to top the chart in the US, a spot usually reserved for the Toyota Camry.
The Camry did make the Top 10 and was the only Japanese vehicle to do so but as number eight, with sales down 27.7 percent from last June. Toyota has regained strength and production is almost back to normal so expect the Camry to move back up. Honda also took a tumble and fell to 15th place with the Civic, down 34 percent compared to this time last year. The Altima was Nissan’s top seller coming in at 11th place with sales up 22.7 percent.
Coming in first place was Ford’s F-series which improved over last year by 6.7 percent. Second place was awarded to the Chevrolet Silverado which improved by 5.1% over last year.
[Source: USA Today]
A short clip ostensibly taken during a meeting for American Toyota dealers appears to show the 2012 Toyota Camry in all its glory, as Toyota’s best seller makes its debut amid a soundtrack by Katy Perry.
Little is known about the 2012 Camry, aside from Toyota’s plans for an ambitious marketing blitz in advance of the vehicle’s on-sale date. But with Toyota’s Las Vegas dealer meeting having occurred this past weekend, we have every reason to believe that this is our first look at the most important product from Toyota. Of course, we can expect that a gasoline and a hybrid variant will be offered (the video mentions the Camry SE, Camry XLE and Camry Hybrid), but whether Toyota follows the lead of Hyundai and Chevrolet in offering only 4-cylinder engines remains to be seen.
We’ll be sure to bring you official details once they’re available.
Check out the video after the jump
[Source: Indian Autos Blog]
Toyota is counting on a sweeping advertising barrage to regain consumer confidence in its Camry, positioning itself as ”smart, safe and worry-free.”
The campaign will coincide with both Toyota’s expected return to full production capacity and a redesign for the Camry. And by “massive” and “sweeping,” Toyota plans on 40 commercials with the company’s familiar narrative of safe, dependable transportation for the masses.
It’s been a tough year for Toyota in general: they are still recovering from the spate of product recalls last year, as well as the production downturn from the earthquake. And to recover, they are aiming this campaign alongside at least 20 new or redesigned cars within the next two years: 13 of which will be significantly more different than now. It will include a new Avalon, a compact Prius, and the long-awaited FRS sports car for Scion. Ultimately, Toyota wants to hit a sales target of 2 million vehicles by 2013.
Expect to see ads beginning in October. There’s no word on whether they’ll involve ninjas, zombies, or children’s television mascots.
[Source: Wall Street Journal]
What’s the most American car? The Ford Mustang? Chevy Camaro? Dodge Charger? Nope. It’s the Toyota Camry.
According to the annual Cars.com American-Made Index the Camry tops the list once again (for the third straight year) due not only to having its production based in American (at both the Georgetown, Ky. and Lafayette, Ind. Toyota plants), but because 80 percent of its parts are also made-in-America. To qualify for the list a vehicle has to have at least 75% of its parts made in the U.S.A. The Cars.com index also accounts for a high volume of sales, which helps put the Camry ahead as it is the best-selling car in America.
The second spot on the list also goes to another Japanese automaker, Honda, and the Accord. Finally, in third place, is a domestic automaker, GM, with the Chevy Malibu. Rounding out the top five are the Ford Explorer and another Honda, the Odyssey minivan.
24-year old Aaron Knudsen, sadly, has a lot to deal with right now. His mother was murdered by her estranged boyfriend in May, and between dealing with investigators and grieving over the loss of a family member, he also had to deal with outstanding payments on her mother’s 2005 Toyota Camry.
Police investigators had impounded the car after the murder, and Knudsen had contacted Toyota to let them know that he would be keeping the car and making any outstanding payments on it. Toyota initially agreed to this.
But later, in the sort of story that makes Snidely Whiplash feel underappreciated, Toyota reversed their position and seized it anyway; when Knudsen contacted them again, they threatened to sell the car if he didn’t pay the loan as well as $1,000 in impound fees by July 5th.
So Knudsen went to Toyota’s Facebook page and let them know about the situation. And with the power of social media, it went viral: Toyota was up there with Pol Pot and traffic wardens on the scale of heartless cruelty. Exactly the sort of attention Knudsen deserved. And on Friday, Toyota called him to let him know that not only was the company returning the car, forgive the outstanding debt, and return the car to him next week.
Consider your faith in humanity restored—after all, Toyota doesn’t need any more bad PR.
Are you curious to know how much of your car is made in America? Well if you are, Diane Sawyer takes a look into the automotive manufacturing business. ABC World News lauched “Made in American Summer” which focuses on American manufacturing, the economy and how ordinary Americans can help create more jobs in their country.
ABC worked with the Stewart family of Hillsdale, N.J during their time shopping for a new car. The Stewart’s compare a Ford Escape and a Toyota Camry and ABC News tries to figure out which car best supports US manufacturing.
Shockingly, the Camry is 80% American made, while the Escape is 65%. The Ford created 13 assembly line jobs for every 100 cars sold while the Camry provided almost 20.
Check out the video after the jump to see which vehicle the Stewart’s buy.
Toyota will begin its first trial related to its sudden-acceleration issues in February 2013, says a U.S. District judge.
The first of the lawsuits will happen in federal court, and will pertain to a 2010 crash that killed two people in a 2008 Camry. The families of the victims are suing Toyota, alleging that a defect in the Camry allowed it to speed up even when the driver slammed on the brakes. Toyota should have included a brake override system, says the family’s lawyers.
Judge James V. Selna in Santa Ana, California is overseeing most of these federal lawsuits, and believes that the wrongful death case will test evidence and liability theories for other similar cases. In legal parlance, this is known as a bellwether case.
When it comes to family sedans and smaller cars and SUVs, for the last two decades, Honda and Toyota ranked as top choices for many Americans. Not any more. It seems that more and more U.S. motorists that once drove Corollas, Civics, Accords and Camrys exclusively are now looking at alternatives.
Although supply of certain Toyotas and Hondas is still proving problematic following the March 11 earthquake and Tsunami in Japan, the decline in both automaker’s fortunes is being blamed on a lot more than just natural disasters.
According to Eric Nobel, of the Orange, California based consulting firm The Car Lab, both Honda and Toyota are losing ground, because their products haven’t been competitive in crucial market segments since the first half of the last decade. He particularly cites Toyota’s slipping quality control and the widespread recalls that have tarnished its reputation among American consumers, as well as Honda’s lack of innovation.
Although the Camry is still currently the best-selling car in America, it’s market share of the mid-size sedan segment has been dropping since 2008. Currently it’s around 9.6 percent, that contrasts sharply with 14.2 percent a couple of years ago.
Toyota’s Corolla and Honda’s Civic and Accord haven’t fared much better. Even Consumer Reports, which once championed these cars as the top of the list when it came to recommended buys, didn’t rate a single one of them as a top pick in it’s most recent findings, instead choosing cars such as the Hyundai Sonata and Nissan Altima over the former ‘favorites.’
Even domestic brands such as Ford and Chevrolet, once dismissed by many, are making a comeback. According to Edmunds.com, some 14.3 percent of people normally shopping for a Civic are looking at the new 2012 Focus as an alternative, while more than 10 percent are considering the Chevy Cruze.
Neverthless, Toyota says that it is “not going to stand still,” according to U.S. spokesman Joe Tetherow and will be “coming back with something significant.” That something will likely comprise a range of new or significantly updated models, including a next generation Camry.
Whether it will be enough to win back customers and turn the tide of flagging sales remains to be seen.
The May auto industry sales numbers are in and things continue to look down for Honda and Toyota. Both brands saw big drops in their May sales, with Honda down 23 percent and Toyota down 33 percent. While the earthquake and tsunami are to blame for supply issues, it’s hard to ignore the fact that both automakers are losing ground with core products.
According to data compiled by the Examiner, neither of the top two Japanese automakers have a car in the Top 10 best selling cars list for the month. While normally the Civic, Accord, Camry and Corolla all place highly, the best of the bunch for May was the Camry in 12th place with 18,830 units sold. The Civic placed 13th with 18,341 units sold, while the Accord (including the Accord Crosstour) was in 14th with 18,185 units and the Corolla (including the Matrix) sold 16,985 to wind up in 16th spot.
Topping the list was Ford’s F-Series trucks, followed by the Chevy Silverado, while the first car to place is the Chevy Malibu in third, followed by the Nissan Altima and Ford Fusion to round out the top 5. Even domestic compacts did well in May with the Cruze in 8th place and the Focus in 9th.
Year-to-date, Honda and Toyota aren’t doing as poorly with the Camry in 3rd, the Accord in 4th, the Corolla in 5th and the Civic in 8th, but if the May sales numbers for these cars continue, both automakers could look to slip considerably.
The most popular mid-size sedan in the North American market is the Toyota Camry, and later this year we should see an all-new model.
The seventh generation model is set to debut this fall, as indicated by Toyota’s vice-president and general manager Bob Carter.
Toyota sold 327,804 Camry’s last year, and while that would be a huge and successful number for any automaker, it was in fact the lowest tally in Camry’s history since 1994. The current model had been in the market since March 2006.
No details have been given about the new Camry, but expect more of the same with some new clothing. It’s not yet clear if Toyota plans to continue to offer a V6 model, or switch to 4-cylinders only, like Hyundai has done with the new Sonata and Chevy is planning with the Malibu. A new Camry Hybrid will certainly be a part of the model mix.
[Source: Wards Auto]
The current Camry was last redesigned in 2006 and Toyota is preparing for the next model due this fall, according to WardsAuto.com.
Toyota faces fierce competition from the latest offerings out of Korea and the U.S, so the new model is of the utmost importance to the company. Toyota sold 327,084 Camrys in 2010 still leading midsize family sedans in sales, however this is the lowest sales figure for the Camry since 1994. Surprisingly, Toyota expected the Prius hybrid to outsell the Camry in future. As gas prices keep rising and families are switching from midsize sedans to compact cars, it will be interesting to see what happens to the Camry in the future.
[Source: Ward's Auto]
For the first time in its life, the Nissan Altima has outsold both the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord, taking the title of America’s Best Selling Sedan.
Altima sales were up by 27 percent compared to last year, helping Nissan achieve a record month in sales. Currently, Nissan is offering a number of incentives, including 0 percent financing for 60 months, as a means of helping move Altimas, and previous incentives surely contributed to the car’s success.
Fleet sales weren’t included in the sales breakdown, so we can’t be sure how many made it into consumers hands rather than rental car fleets. Even though the Altima is top dog for now, the spread between the Altima and the third place Camry is less than 1,000 units, so the likelihood of things changing by year’s end is quite strong.
A shortage of parts means that Subaru‘s Indiana plant will have its production cut in half through the end of the week, and the company will assess the situation on a day to day basis to examine whether a continuation is necessary.
Each of the two shifts will have 4 hours cut from their length. The plant builts the Legacy, Outback and Tribeca models, strong sellers for the brand. Toyota also builds the Camry at the same plant but said that its production was not affected. Subaru was attempting to set a sales record in 2011, after a strong year in 2010 which saw it make substantial gains. But Subaru’s status as a smaller automaker and a smaller supplier base to draw on means that it could be more vulnerable to disruptions than larger automakers like Honda and Toyota.
[Source: Automotive News]