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.
Filed under: Sedan , Safety , Videos , Toyota , Volkswagen Crash tests continue to get ever tougher, and the new “small overlap” test from the Insurance Institute For Highway Safety is giving engineers fits. The new procedure, launched in August , subjects just 25 percent of a vehicle’s front end to an impact at 40 miles per hour, and it’s proven to be a lot tougher to ace than the institute’s old 40-percent overlap test, which is also still in use. The test is designed to simulate impact with a pole, tree or an offset other vehicle – all common crash scenarios. In its initial round of tests, the IIHS found just three of 11 midsize luxury and near-premium cars up to the job of earning acceptable or good ratings. In this latest go around, the IIHS subjected 18 midsize family sedans to the test, with two earning good ratings, 11 earning acceptable scores, three netting marginal and two suffering poor marks. Of those tested, the Honda Accord and Suzuki Kizashi earned top marks. Interestingly enough, the IIHS has gone out of its way to highlight the poor performances by the Toyota automobiles it tested. The Camry and Prius V were both called out for poor performances in the small overlap, deeming them “the worst performers of the midsize group.” This, despite the fact that both models were new for 2012. Interestingly, both vehicles previously earned Top Safety Pick status, showing just how tough the new small overlap test really is. IIHS also called out the 2013 Volkswagen Jetta for a poor performance, noting that its driver airbag module actually detached from the steering column during the crash test.
TORRANCE, Calif., Dec. 7, 2012 – Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc., today announced manufacturer’s suggested retail prices (MSRP) for the 2013 Camry and Camry Hybrid mid-size sedans, Prius c
Filed under: Sedan , Toyota As automakers are preparing to release sales figures for October, Toyota is looking a little further ahead by claiming that the Camry is the best-selling car in the US for the 11th straight year a full two months early. Based on sales figures through September, Toyota thinks that its 67,000-unit lead over the closest competitor is big enough to make a fourth-quarter comeback statistically impossible. Camry sales are up about 37 percent through September with 314,788 units sold compared to 247,847 units for the next-closest car, the Honda Accord . The Accord would have to double the Camry’s sales for the rest of the year in order to vie for the “best-selling car” title, and so far in 2012 Accord hasn’t even been able to match the Camry’s numbers. That being said, Automotive News does say that the stellar Camry’s 2012 sales also include higher-than-normal fleet sales accounting for 15 percent of the total – or around 60,000 units-compared to 10 percent that the article states is where Camry fleet sales usually are. The Nissan Altima (234,040), Honda Civic (234,029) and Toyota Corolla (222,703) round out the top five cars of 2012 so far. Next year will likely prove to be a little more challenging for the Toyota with redesigned midsize competitors such as the Ford Fusion , Altima, Accord, Chevrolet Malibu and Mazda6 all looking to put some added heat on the Camry – not to mention a substantially updated Civic will be hitting the scene as well. Toyota claims best-selling car crown two months early originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 29 Oct 2012 10:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
TORRANCE, Calif., (Oct. 20, 2012) – Kyle Busch, whose 104 career wins across all three of its top series make him one of NASCAR’s top drivers, is now hoping to head to the winner’s circle in a different kind of race: the Toyota Racing Dream Build Challenge ( www.ToyotaRacingDreamBuild.com ). Busch, one of four racing stand-outs pitted against each other in the vehicle-modification build competition, took on a 2012 Toyota Camry SE and remade it into the “Rowdy Edition” Camry, named for his “Rowdy” handle on the racing circuit. The Rowdy Edition Camry is all about style and substance.
Filed under: Technology , Toyota Aside from its hybrid technology, Toyota has fallen behind the competition in terms of vehicle powertrains which could leave popular cars like the Toyota Camry and Toyota RAV4 lagging behind the competition. While most of its rivals have started using gasoline direct injection , turbochargers and some have moved to Continuously Variable Transmissions (CVT) to balance performance and fuel economy, many Toyota models are still using underpowered engines and outdated transmission technology. According to a report in Autoweek , Toyota is finally going to start dabbling in all of these technologies over the next couple years. In the States, Toyota only currently uses direct injection on the Scion FR-S , Lexus GS and Lexus LS , but AW says it will be introducing two new GDI engines over the next two years: a 2.5-liter Atkinson cycle engine for its hybrids next year and a sportier 2.0-liter turbocharged mill a year later. It sounds like Toyota is also looking to convert its AR family engines to direct injection as early as next year for use in cars like the Venza and Lexus RX , but it won’t be used on the Prius due to higher cost that would likely only return an “incremental benefit.” The 2.0-liter turbo engine would be a derivative of the 2.5-liter AR engine, but there is no word as to what models this would go into. Based on the success of the Ford EcoBoost engines, we’d have to guess at least the Camry, RAV4 and Highlander . Toyota’s transmission lineup will also get some much-needed updating with wider-spread use of CVTs and six- and eight-speed transmissions for its bigger cars. Toyota is one of the few remaining automakers still using a four-speed automatic on its small cars, and this is rumored to be ending with the next-generation Corolla receiving a new CVT. Toyota planning 2.0T, more CVTs among other powertrain developments originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 02 Oct 2012 16:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .