Toyota planning to halt exports of Japan-made Camry sedan to North America

Article by Christian Andrei, on September 7, 2011

Toyota Motor Corp. intends to stop the exports of its Japan-made Camry sedan to North America after the launch of the revamped variant this fall. Currently, the Camrys comprise only a small slice of the company’s sales in the U.S. Specifically, they accounted for only 982 units of the 203,688 sold in the United States through August.

The imported Camrys will be phased out as the Toyota seeks to increase local production to offset losses in the exchange rate. Chief Engineer Yukihiro Okane for the seventh-generation Camry disclosed that the U.S. production capacity is currently sufficient for manufacturing vehicles that the company intends to sell.

This seventh-generation vehicle is set hit showrooms in the U.S. this month and went on sale in Japan on September 5, according to Autonews. Okane stated that North America will be self sufficient.

In fact, the company aims to achieve annual sales of 360,000 Camrys in the U.S., and the vehicle will be produced at the company’s plant in Georgetown, Ky., and in Subaru’s factory in Indiana. The company’s Tsutsumi factory in Toyota City, Japan, will keep on producing the vehicle, however, annual output is expected about 30,000 units, with 6,000 to be brought to the domestic Japanese market.

Okane stated that none of those cars will be brought to the U.S. Although the Camry has been the bestseller in the U.S. for nine years now, it is not big in the Japanese market. Sales in the domestic market peaked in 1990 at 82,000 vehicles and declined to 1,100 units in 2010.

At the company’s home country, the mid-sized Camry languishes between the sportier Mark X and the upscale Crown sedan. Toyota is targeting to bring annual sales in Japan to 6,000 units by offering only the hybrid version in the country. In this way, the company taps the Japanese enthusiasm for gasoline-electric drivetrains. The company also intends to provide a vehicle that qualifies for government eco-car incentives.

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