Filed under: Sedan , Videos , Toyota , Earnings/Financials Eleven months after Toyota claimed the 2012 sales crown a couple of months early thanks to the Camry , the headlines this year have been quite a bit different to last. Even though the Camry remains the best selling car so far in 2013 and its volume has increased year-on-year, it has lost market share due to the 20-percent sales explosion in the midsize segment. That means people are buying more of the competitor offerings like the Honda Accord , Nissan Altima and Ford Fusion – the Altima, in fact, outsold the Camry by 100 units in March. In July it was reported that Toyota was upping Camry incentives and fleet sales to keep its lead and that dealer inventory was climbing as, again, competitors got better at fighting the champion. In August Ford doubled down on production of the Fusion, adding a line in Flat Rock, MI to keep up with demand. Bloomberg has a report looking at the numbers behind the Camry’s dominance, as well as what appears to be a recorded group interview with Toyota USA CEO Jim Lentz, and wonders aloud whether the Camry will be able to hold its top spot in 2014. Barring catastrophe it has this year locked up, being more than 30,000 sales ahead of the next-best seller as of the end of August, but it has done so with higher incentives and lower transaction prices than its competitors. According to Strategic Vision the Camry’s consideration rate among consumers has also declined by a percentage point, while the consideration rate for the Accord and Fusion has increased by one point and two points, respectively. Analysts, and Toyota, cite better competitor products as well as the fact that the Camry is a year older than any of them to explain what’s happening, but a year from now the three major competitors won’t be as new either, and Toyota knows a thing or two about moving cars. Still, the Camry has been number one for 15 of the past 16 years, its only second-place blip coming in 2001, so it’s way early to be talking about the fall of the champion.
Filed under: Government/Legal , Recalls , Safety , Toyota Toyota is going to be back in the spotlight, as the first of its unintended acceleration lawsuits is headed for trial. This case covers a Los Angeles sushi shop owner, Noriko Uno. According to the what the family told The Detroit News , Uno only put about 10,000 miles on her 2006 Toyota Camry in four years. Uno was apparently afraid of high speeds, avoiding the freeway and taking a route home along LA’s surface streets to avoid them. On August 28, 2009, Uno’s Camry suddenly accelerated to 100 miles per hour, eventually striking a telephone poll and a tree and killing her. The family contends that Uno attempted to step on the brakes and pull the emergency brake, neither of which brought her speed under control, while Toyota maintains that improperly installed floormats and driver error have been behind the majority of the 80 cases expected to be heard in court. In Uno’s case, The Detroit News is expecting the trial to focus on the lack of an override if the gas and brake pedals were pressed at the same time. Brake overrides were installed on Toyota’s European fleet. The Uno family attorney will need to prove to the jury that it wasn’t driver error that killed Noriko Uno. Uno’s case will be a bellwether case, which other state courts will use to predict potential outcomes for similar lawsuits.
TORRANCE, Calif. (July 2, 2013) – Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc., today reported 10 million sales of its Toyota Camry, America’s top-selling car for the past 11 years, representing nearly 20 percent of all the vehicles Toyota has ever sold in the U.S. This milestone comes the same year Camry celebrates its 30 year anniversary in the U.S.
Filed under: Car Buying , Sedan , Toyota , Earnings/Financials We’ve been watching for some time now as Toyota has piled more incentives on the hood of its Camry sedan, and Automotive News reports that the we’re not the only ones with raised eyebrows. The current Camry hasn’t even been on the market for two years, but the family sedan segment is more hotly contested than it has been in years. It’s that high level of competition that has led the automaker to uncharacteristically add more money on the hood in order to assure it maintains its long-held title of America’s Best-Selling Car, a mantle it has owned for a dozen years. It’s ramping up fleet sales, too. According to the analysts at TrueCar , Toyota has bumped incentives per unit every month this year, now totaling some $2,750 as of May, a 38-percent hike over this time last year. That’s more spiff money than the segment’s other best sellers, the Nissan Altima ($2,400), Ford Fusion ($2,300) and Honda Accord ($1,400), all of whom have actually decreased their incentive spend by 20- to 40-percent over the same period. The ramp up in incentive spending and fleet sales has analysts concerned that Toyota will tarnish the Camry’s historically sterling resale value. ALG pegs the 2013 Camry’s current 36-month residual value at 54.4 percent, well ahead of the segment average’s 50.9 percent (but shy of the Accord’s 55.6 percent). However, analysts are concerned that as the current generation ages, their resale values will eventually plummet if incentives continue to increase as Toyota looks to keep the Camry’s best-selling car crown going forward. Automotive News cites R.L.
Filed under: Car Buying , Sedan , Chevrolet , Ford , Honda , Hyundai , Mazda , Nissan , Toyota When we first saw and drove new midsize sedans like the 2013 Nissan Altima and 2013 Ford Fusion , we had a feeling the Toyota Camry would eventually see a challenge for the top sales spot, but we had no idea things would move this quickly. Automotive News is reporting that the quarter tallies still show the Camry holding a sizable lead over its competition, but the Altima did manage to outsell the Toyota by 100 units last month. While a single month of not outselling the competition might not be enough to unseat the Camry from its 11-year sales throne, it goes to show how far recent competitors in the segment have come. The four best-selling cars in the midsize segment (in order) are the Camry, Honda Accord , Altima and Fusion , with each car boasting more than 80,000 units through the first three months of the year. Both the Accord and Fusion are seeing double-digit year-over-year sales increases while the Camry and Altima have dropped somewhat. And it wasn’t just Camry that was losing ground. As we saw in the March 2013 By The Numbers post, Toyota sales as a whole were down slightly from 2012 while all of its key competitors ( Chevrolet , Ford , Honda and Nissan ) were in the green. After the top four sellers in the segment, the next closest midsizers are the Chevrolet Malibu and Hyundai Sonata , but these cars are well off the competitive pace. Although the 2014 Mazda6 isn’t expected to take too big of a bite out of the midsize market, its attractive design and available diesel engine could continue the shakeup of this once-predictable segment. Altima, Fusion shaking up midsize sedan sales race originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 09 Apr 2013 09:44:00 EST.
Filed under: Car Buying , Sedan , Toyota Toyota may be set to lose share the midsize sedan market. While speaking with Automotive News , Toyota North America CEO Jim Lentz said that if his company kept pace with the current swell in the market for family four doors, Toyota would need to sell around 500,000 Camry models. “I’m not sure we can do much more than 400 [thousand] today,” Lentz said. But that doesn’t mean Camry sales are shrinking – on the contrary, Lentz thinks Toyota will likely sell more Camry units in 2013 than it did in 2012, it’s just that the company isn’t keeping pace with segment’s current explosion in popularity. Industry wide, midsized sedan sales have increased by 20 percent. “Are we going to lose [Camry] share? Probably so,” Lentz said, “but we will continue to grow in raw volume.” Toyota sold 404,886 Camry units last year, and the company just revised its 2013 sales objective from 2.18 million units earlier this year to 2.2-million plus units, so while things are looking up for the brand and Camry sales may be on the rise, Toyota may not have the muscle to keep up its share in the sedan segment. Whether that’s because of a production bottleneck or a predicted sales ceiling isn’t clear. We’ve got a call in and will update this news item if/when we learn more. Toyota sees Camry share loss despite predicting increasing sales originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 02 Apr 2013 11:29:00 EST.
Filed under: Hybrid , Sedan , Toyota When it debuted last year, the Toyota Camry came in for some criticism over its interior, most centered on material choices – both in quality (not enough) and variety (too much). Thus, Toyota has responded after just one model year, updating both materials and features on its gas-powered and hybrid family sedans for 2013. The LE version appeared to get the lion’s share of the improvements. Specifically, the LE is getting “soft-touch” door materials as well as armrests that match the rest of the interior color (instead of being black). The LE model also gets Toyota’s six-inch display screen that helps folks get a better gander at the car’s energy usage and fuel economy, among other things. Other changes include adding cross-traffic alert for models equipped with blind spot monitoring Toyota introduced its latest version of the Camry and Camry Hybrid in the fall of 2011 as a 2012 model. Sales have been solid, and in particular, the Camry Hybrid has improved its fortunes, bumping its US sales almost fivefold to more than 45,000 units. So far in 2013, the latter has carried over much of that momentum, boosting January 2013 sales from a year earlier by 81 percent to 3,826 units. Looking for more details? Toyota happily goes into a ton of detail on the interior improvements in the press release below.
Filed under: Hybrid , Sedan , Toyota , New Car Reviews Giving Vanilla A Good Name “Vanilla.” Taken in modern context, that’s not a compliment, but it should be. Vanilla actually has exotic origins, and as spices go, only saffron is more costly. Despite the realities, calling something “vanilla” is not whistling in admiration. The Toyota Camry has been called “vanilla” countless times since its debut, but both the car and the bean have something up their sleeves. Scoff all you want, but vanilla is the most popular ice cream flavor, and there is no mainstream sedan that outsells the Camry. Apparently, vanilla has an underlying tinge of filthy lucre. We didn’t feel rich, exactly, wheeling around in the Camry Hybrid, but we came away impressed, nonetheless. “When I go to an ice cream parlor for the first time, I always order their vanilla,” says Ralph Hannabury. Why vanilla? “When you’re making ice cream, everything builds off vanilla.
Filed under: Budget , Hybrid , Sedan , SUV , Truck , Recalls , Safety , Hatchback , Toyota Toyota is recalling sixteen models from the 2009 to 2013 model years over a potential issue with passenger seat airbag calibration. In spite of the large number of different Toyotas covered by the recall, just 3,235 units are included. These were vehicles installed with accessories like leather seat covers and headrest DVD systems by Southeast Toyota Distributors, and during the modifications the passenger seat occupant sensor system might not have been calibration tested. If the sensors aren’t set up properly, the passenger airbag might not work as it should. Affected models include: Avalon, Camry, Camry Hybrid, Corolla, 4Runner, FJ Cruiser, Highlander, Highlander Hybrid, Prius, Prius V, Rav4, Sequoia, Sienna, Tacoma, Tundra and Venza. Scroll down for the relevant model years for each. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates that the recall will begin this month. Southeast Toyota will inform owners, at which time they can take their Toyotas to dealers for testing and repair. The complete bulletin from the NHTSA with more information is below . Continue reading Toyota recalls slew of models for possible airbag calibration defect Toyota recalls slew of models for possible airbag calibration defect originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 28 Jan 2013 13:01:00 EST.