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 Edmunds.com. 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.

When it comes to form, the 2012 Camry reveals one that is contemporary but also elegantly simple. Stacked against the previous models, the new version has a stance that is lower and wider. This particular design is able to show an “architectural statement” by having the precise and crisp character lines. The combination of the rocker panel molding being more defined and the door cross-section becoming more strongly curved results in the new Camry getting that luxurious look.

It is important to note that for the LE and XLE, the rocker panel molding has a chrome accent. On the front, the headlights display a more dynamic form. The main-beam unit has a more prominent curve which merges to the bumper cover. Under the SE and the XLE trim, fog lights are included as standard. Looking at the rear section, the lamp clusters are able to wrap tightly to the sides of the body having the top portions stretching out to the trunk panel.

While the XLE and the LE have an added chrome trim on the exterior, the SE will be officially launched. It will not only with its very own design for the lower body but it will exclusively have that fine-mesh upper grille section. Still on the SE grade, it will carry a black sport trim headlamp bezels as well as the three-part lower grille section where the fog lamps are housed.

The SE also shows that the rocker panel moldings have been more pronounced and this connects to the integrated rear and front underbody spoilers which highlights the width. Its trunk lid also has a spoiler integrated to it. In order to put more emphasis on the new design of the body, the brand is offering customers the choice of four colors.

Two of these are new to the brand, especially in the U.S., which are Clearwater Blue and Attitude Black Metallic. Clearwater Blue makes use of a silver metallic pigment to give it a water-like and glassy finish. Meanwhile the Attitude Black Metallic mixes in a bright blue pigment to provide a rather fascinating version of the usual jet black.

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