Toyota is hoping to leverage the popularity of its Toyota Racing Development line by expanding it to its passenger cars, with the No. 1 car in the United States – the Camry – first on the list. So far, its TRD editions of the Tundra and Tacoma pickups and 4Runner SUV managed to capture younger buyers while selling them at higher sticker prices.
Should Toyota decides to offer a Camry TRD, the edition should further hike the nameplates sales, which have been the highest in the US since years ago. The sedan, usually a good buy for families, would now be able to attract a greater number of younger shoppers. The Camry has been racing in the NASCAR since 2007, which has been appealing to younger demographics.
Bill Fay, general manager of Toyota Division, told Automotive News at the Detroit auto show that the carmaker may offer a Camry TRD yearend, although the more probable date would be next year. He said that while the Camry TRD’s tricked-out exhaust systems, oversized wheels and bold exterior may not appeal to its core family buyers, the special edition is too good to pass up.
In fact, around 40 percent of Tacoma buyers opt for TRD models, Toyota disclosed. For the Camry though, a TRD edition would mean another part of a transformation of the line. Last year, Toyota implemented a mid-cycle overhaul of the Camry, adding a new sporty XSE trim level above the SE grade.
Bob Carter, Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A.'s senior vice president of automotive operations, remarked that paved way for a two-prong strategy for the Camry: the traditional LE line and its derivatives compete in the luxury segment while the SE and variants compete in the sports segment.
So far, the sporty side of the Camry has more popular, with the SE line accounting for about half of total sales and attracting much younger buyers.