Toyota Motor Corp. just had its best-ever March, contributing to its sales in the first quarter of 105,405 units. The demand for the redesigned Camry mid-sized sedan earned it the title of the top-selling U.S. car with a significant lead over its rivals. With the present pace in sales, the Camry is on track to achieve sales of more than 400,000 units.
This would be the first time since 2008. Camry sales reached its peak in 2007 with 473,108. However, this has dropped to lower than the 400,000 mark due to the economic recession and Japan's 2011 earthquake.
In 2012, US deliveries are predicted to fall by 6% to 308,510 units. However, this isn’t low enough for it to lose it lead. It has also sold more units than the Nissan Altima (by 9,045 units so far in 2012).
The Altima is the No. 2 top-selling car in the nation. Camry sales in March reached 42,567 units. However, around 20% of those deliveries were for daily rental operators who had stopped taking orders for the recession period.
In addition, Toyota is filling orders from fleet buyers that were urged to put off Camry deliveries due to shortages from the earthquake. Jim Lentz, CEO of Toyota Motor Sales, said that it has noted strong retail volumes for its 2013 model, according to Autonews.
He also claimed that the company saw an improvement in customer demographics. Due to the marketing thrust used on the SE trim model, the average age of a Camry buyer has fallen from 59 to 50.
The mid-grade SE trim model features a suspension that’s significantly stiffened compared to the standard Camry. In addition, it boasts bigger wheels and it gets paddle shifters on the steering wheel.
Lentz said that it’s possible that Toyota will sell more SEs models than the current 40% if its capacity wasn’t limited. Lentz explained that consumer intentions to buy the Camry have gone up 5 percentage points from last year. The steady recovery in the U.S. light vehicle market is expected to drive up Camry sales too.
For 13 of the last 14 years and for nine years in a row, the Toyota Camry has been America’s best-selling car. Now the brand’s new seventh generation 2012 Camry arrives with a new design that is daring and elegant. Its ride is quieter than before with a roomier interior and better driving dynamics. Add in leading safety, fuel economy, multimedia technology for the class and you get the best Camry yet.
Since its introduction in 1983, the Camry, with its comfortable and quiet ride, set the benchmarks for reliability, dependability, and quality, establishing itself as the standard for the modern midsized sedan. Since then, more than 15 million Camrys have been sold by Toyota globally.
Bob Carter, Toyota Division Group Vice President and General Manager, explains that the new 2012 Camry combines and evolves values like safety, reliability, efficiency, and comfort with a more attractive design and driving experience. The midsized sedan segment has never been this competitive, and the brand-new Camry’s design will make sure it keeps its leading role while at the same time becoming appealing to more consumers.
Toyota offers in the Camry three different powertrains, each improved for the new 2012 as they now come with enhanced fuel economy and responsiveness. All the revised 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine models will also offer 178 horsepower, increasing by nine hp and 170 lb.-ft. of peak torque. EPA-estimated fuel economy comes in at 25 mpg city/35 highway, and the 28-mpg combined is two more than the previous Camry.
The 2.5-liter engine uses Dual VVT-i (Dual Variable Valve Timing-intelligent), controlling valve timing on the intake and exhaust camshafts to optimize performance and efficiency at every engine speed. The Acoustic Control Induction System (ACIS) also assists in optimizing torque over a broad engine speed range.