Toyota to keep Camry prices steady in the US despite challenges

Article by Anita Panait, on August 26, 2013

Toyota Motor Corp. is planning to keep the prices for its Camry sedan steady despite challenges being presented by Ford Motor Co. and Honda Motor Co. for the crown as the best-selling car in the United States. The Camry saw its US sales lead this year diminish after it was outsold by the Nissan Altima in March and the Honda Accord in April.

The Camry, however, was able to post a 16-percent surge in US sales in July to 34,780 after Toyota offered incentives four times larger the Honda offered for the Accord, according to Nobuyori Kodaira, executive vice president at Toyota, remarked that they don’t think that their current level of incentives is necessarily high, adding that they try “not to be too dependent on them."

He remarked that Toyota’s plan for now is to stick with current level of incentives. Defending the Camry’s US lead is only one of Toyota’s ongoing concerns as it is also trying to defend its crown as the largest carmaker in the world.

Toyota is facing increasing competition from the Detroit 3 -- Ford, General Motors and Chrysler Group – which all have gained market share in the US market in the first half of 2013. Kodaira admitted that Toyota’s rival carmakers have brought in “very competitive” models in the segment, and that competition in the US midsize sedan segment “is becoming fiercer."

He remarked that Toyota just needs to offer even more competitive models." Joseph Spak, an analyst for RBC Capital Markets, said in a report in July that inventories for both Toyota's Camry and Honda's Civic have risen with the Camry exceeding its seasonal historical average inventory by over 15 days supply in June, and the Camry by 25 days supply.

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