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.