Filed under: New York Auto Show , Sedan , Toyota With a dozen years atop the nation’s best-selling car charts, you might think that there wouldn’t be a lot of incentive for Toyota to rework its Camry , particularly so early in the life of the current model. But despite its unassailable sales totals, the midsize sedan has come in for substantial criticism for its milquetoast dynamics, piecemeal interiors and bland design. As part of CEO Akio Toyoda’s mantra to build more exciting cars, the 2015 Camry has arrived with a fresh new look and content that goes far beyond the Japanese automaker’s typically slight mid-cycle redesigns. Featuring some 2,000 new parts, the 2015 Camry casts a 1.8-inch longer shadow and stretches across a widened track (0.4 inches). And it won’t be just the widened track that should help deliver a more dynamic performance – Toyota is citing a stiffer chassis thanks to additional spot welds along with a rejiggered suspension, retuned electric power steering and a new two-stage brake booster for improved braking feel. A new XSE trim promises the sportiest performance yet, including model-specific shock absorbers and springs, stiffer bushings, unique stability control programming and 18-inch wheels to go along with a unique front end treatment featuring mesh grille inserts and a revised fascia. But Camry sales have rarely been driven by performance – millions of the things have been purchased due to the family sedan’s ironclad reputation for attributes like reliability, strong resale value, comfort and ease of use. The latter two aspects often help secure the former, and to that end, Toyota has made a lot of changes to the Camry’s interior, both seen and unseen. Visible changes include a redesigned gauge cluster with a new 4.2-inch TFT display, richer materials, a redesigned center stack and a console tray with available wireless charging. Hidden alterations include 30-percent more sound insulation to help deliver a serene ride.
Filed under: Sedan , Toyota , Design/Style There are many ways to describe the Toyota Camry : “comfortable,” “economical,” “affordable,” “reliable” and “dull as a bucket of mayonnaise” would all be accurate. It’s this last one that the Japanese brand is seeking to change. While we aren’t expecting it to suddenly sprout a high-revving V8, a rear-drive layout or razor-sharp handling, a report from Bloomberg suggests we should at least expect a more evocative design from one of the best-selling cars in the country. The next Camry update, due for 2015, should have a “more emotional, more impactful design,” says Kevin Hunter, head of Toyota’s US design studio. That’s according to Bloomberg, who caught up with the styling boss at this week’s Detroit Auto Show . “Camry’s taken some hits on styling, but it’s still selling well. But we need to create better design for Camry in the future.” Toyoda wants to see waku-doki in his company’s designs – heart-racing qualities Hunter is right – the world of the midsize family sedan is no longer a realm of dreary designs. Cars like the Ford Fusion and Kia Optima both feature a design presence that allows them to stand out on the road, while new competitors like the Chrysler 200 and upcoming Hyundai Sonata should make for strong competitors. It isn’t just pressure from other manufacturers that is convincing Toyota to build a more stylish Camry, though. It’s a direct order from the man in charge, Akio Toyoda .
Filed under: Toyota , Earnings/Financials Toyota has raised its expectations for 2013′s US sales for the third time since the end of 2012. The new target rests at 2.25 million units, when sales of Toyota, Lexus and Scion are taken as one. Subtracting Lexus, Toyota is still expecting to move over two million vehicles in the US by the end of 2013. According to a report from Automotive News , the sales expectations came from Bob Carter, senior VP of automotive operations for Toyota USA, during a dealers during a meeting in Atlanta. The heightened expectations go along with Toyota’s predictions for the US market as a whole, which it expects to grow to 15.5 million units by the end of 2013. Besides an overall, national uptick in new vehicle sales, Toyota is also expecting a big push as it puts the next-generation Corolla to market during the second half of this year, along with the Tundra pickup truck. Meanwhile, dealers were shown images of a refreshed Camry , set to arrive in 2015, and reported that it’s “more than a nip and a tuck,” according to the AN report. At the end of 2012, Toyota expected all three of its brands to move 2.15 million units. April saw another bump to over 2.2 million, total, while the Toyota division alone was expected to account for 1.95 million vehicles. Toyota nudges US sales projections up to 2.25M originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 20 Aug 2013 11:20:00 EST.