Toyota reduced the price of 2012 Camry by re-using old assembly robots

Article by Christian Andrei, on September 20, 2011

The U.S. price of Toyota’s new Camry sedan is about 2% lower than the previous version due partly to the re-using of its old assembly robots from its former joint-venture facility in California. Steve St. Angelo, executive vice president for North American manufacturing and engineering, said that the equipment isn’t new while some of the tooling are. He divulged that “a lot of used equipment" came from the New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. (Nummi) plant, which has already closed.

Toyota released the pricing information of this model on August 23, revealing that the eight versions of the 2012 Camry that will start selling this month are priced at $25,245.63 on average, lower by $550.63 than the models they’re replacing. The high-volume Camry LE is priced $200 lower while the XLE grade is cheaper by $2,000.

Toyota is feeling the pressure to cut costs and raise the appeal of models like the best-selling Camry as Hyundai Motor Co. and Ford Motor Co. raise the sales of competing midsize and compact cars, according to BusinessWeek.

The Camry keeps its title as the No.1 car in the U.S. this year in terms of sales. However, it has sold 7% fewer cars through August. Deliveries of Ford's midsize Fusion sedan are higher by 16% and Hyundai's Sonata sold 22% more vehicles.

At Toyota’s automotive museum a few days ago, St. Angelo said that Toyota's North American plants want to save more by using equipment that’s no longer required at its plants.

The Camry’s dramatic new appearance speaks of the design statement that the brand wishes to endorse. As a result, Toyota’s design team emphasised the lower and wider stance for its 2012 Camry model.

It can’t be denied how the expressive lines and strong curves around the surface bring out the character of the new Camry. The same effect is seen on the chrome accents surrounding the XLE and LE variants.

When taking a good view from the front, the bumper’s prominent new headlights have all the right curves to match the exclusive fog lights found on both SE and XLE models. The wraparound taillights meanwhile reach all the way to where it should be.

The SE looks better with the lower grille that comes in 3 sections. The fog lights and sport-trimmed bezels are assigned on one of these. And though the underbody spoilers emphasise the width, it is actually the trunk lid with the new spoiler that catches more attention.

The biggest selling point of the Toyota Camry is probably the interior. Definitely, this new model delivers more spacious and more elegant cabin design than we’ve ever seen before. The door trims; pillars and headliners are typically Camry, but only better.

As a matter of fact, Toyota nailed it this time when it comes to the driver’s position and forward visibility. The latest modifications have brought 33% more driving comfort. At the same time, the 0.6-inch, 1.8-inch and 2-inch adjustments on hip, rear knee and middle seat provide more space and legroom for the passengers.

This Camry model is available in four new colours. The Clearwater Blue and Attitude Black (both in metallic) are just new in the US.

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