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#1 Old 04-06-2012, 04:54 PM
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AN: New Camry drawing younger buyers, on track to crack 400,000 mark again

http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dl...000-mark-again
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With first-quarter sales of 105,405 units, fueled by its best-ever March, Toyota Motor Corp. has its redesigned Camry mid-sized sedan well ahead of the pack in the race for best-selling U.S. car.

At the current pace of sales, the Camry could break the 400,000-unit mark for the first time since 2008.

Camry sales peaked in 2007 at 473,108 but have fallen below the 400,000 mark because of the recession, an unintended-acceleration crisis and Japan's 2011 earthquake. Last year U. S. deliveries dropped 6 percent to 308,510 units -- still enough to keep the car atop the sales chart.

And it has outsold the Nissan Altima -- the nation's No.-2 selling car -- by 9,045 units so far this year.

In March, Camry sales reached 42,567, but about 20 percent of those deliveries went to daily rental operators who put off orders during the recession. Toyota also is filling orders from fleet buyers that were asked to delay Camry deliveries because of earthquake-related shortages.

But retail volumes for the 2013 model are also strong, says Jim Lentz, CEO of Toyota Motor Sales.

Younger buyers

Customer demographics have also improved.

The marketing emphasis on the SE trim model has helped lower the average age of a Camry buyer down to 50, from 59. The mid-grade SE trim model is equipped with a suspension substantially stiffened compared to the standard Camry; it also boasts larger wheels and features paddle shifters on the steering wheel.

Toyota could sell more SEs models -- it currently represents 40 percent of mix -- if the automaker was not capacity constrained, Lentz said.


Also, consumer intentions to purchase the Camry have jumped 5 percentage points from last year, Lentz said.

Camry sales also are expected to get a lift from a steady rebound in the U.S. light vehicle market.

Toyota, citing rising consumer confidence, this week increased its 2012 industrywide forecast for U.S. light-vehicle sales to the low- to mid-14 million unit range, up from 13.6 million units.

More players in segment

But there is no guarantee Camry sales will hit 400,000 units with the mid-sized sedan segment undergoing a major overhaul.

A redesigned Chevrolet Malibu is now in showrooms, and a redesigned Altima goes on sale in late June. In the fall, a redesigned Honda Accord and Ford Fusion will be introduced. And early next year Mazda will begin marketing a revamped Mazda6.

The redesigned Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima and Volkswagen Passat also are gaining ground in the segment.

That's a lot of competition. But Lentz is confident that Camry can maintain its sales rate, especially since 52 percent of current volume is coming from conquest sales.

Despite rising gaoline prices, the mid-sized sedan segment is also producing stronger sales gains, in some cases, than compact and subcompact sales, Lentz said.

"Maybe it's because people can get a Camry Hybrid that gets 43 miles per gallon," Lentz said. "People don't want to make the (size) compromise."
Even with the tough competition, the new Camry is so far fighting the good fight saleswise, with the SE being a good reason why people are buying the car, and even having conquest sales. When Toyota lowers their fleet numbers, will it be enough to be #1?

If people buy Camrys no matter what, they'll do so despite a stiffer ride. In that respect, get rid of the LE and L grades.
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#2 Old 04-06-2012, 09:48 PM
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I'm surprised about the much reduced demographics. Granted I've only driven the LE, it didn't strike to me to be a car I'd buy at this age. Heck, I'd rather recommend it for my dad than my friends. Yet in even in LE trim, this is actually a pretty good car. If I were looking into a Sonata, I'd pause because there are things this Camry does better that may sway a midsize car buyer. I couldn't find a legitimate fault on the Sonata, I'm the same way with this Camry.

I'm expecting the new Fusion to seriously challenge the Camry and the Altima shouldn't disappoint either. The Malibu shouldn't be as slow as last time, but I hope it doesn't carry the LaCrosse's mistakes...otherwise it'll be worse than the Camry and the Sonata.

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#3 Old 04-07-2012, 04:22 PM
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^^The Fusion will really shake things up. You have the Altima and the Accord coming as well. I think or I assume the Accord's selling point will be its new powertrains rather than looks but generally this segment design isn't as a priority. Of course that is changing.

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#4 Old 04-07-2012, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by ECHOKnight2000 View Post
^^The Fusion will really shake things up. You have the Altima and the Accord coming as well. I think or I assume the Accord's selling point will be its new powertrains rather than looks but generally this segment design isn't as a priority. Of course that is changing.
I just hope for Honda's sake this new Accord is not a version 8.5 like the Civic was, its still hard to tell inside and out the difference from gen 8 to gen 9. I saw the Accord coupe concept in person and if you remove the gaudy stuff on it...its very much like the current gen 8 coupe. I think Toyota almost fell into that trap with the Camry.

Honda's offering of CVT and a direct injected V6 are noteworthy. We'll see if this V6 is comparable to any of the current engines. Still confused at why they're still sticking to SOHC especially when today's V6s have more than enough low end torque.

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#5 Old 04-07-2012, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Jegan_V View Post
I just hope for Honda's sake this new Accord is not a version 8.5 like the Civic was, its still hard to tell inside and out the difference from gen 8 to gen 9. I saw the Accord coupe concept in person and if you remove the gaudy stuff on it...its very much like the current gen 8 coupe. I think Toyota almost fell into that trap with the Camry.

Honda's offering of CVT and a direct injected V6 are noteworthy. We'll see if this V6 is comparable to any of the current engines. Still confused at why they're still sticking to SOHC especially when today's V6s have more than enough low end torque.

The Accord is certainly a bigger deal and a more important launch. Granted the current one is at the end of its life cycle its dated more by the competition than it usually is. Meaning traditionally it held its sales spot well cause back then the competition wasn't that great. But now...a different story.

As you very well know when Honduh says "concept" its near production. The only "concept" is that the windows are blacked out and it has superficial gaudy show pieces on it that won't make it to production. we have yet to see the sedan version. my guess it will be an evolution of the current one but its reported to be smaller to actually compete with cars in the segment rather than competing with Avalon sized cars. They already have lots of incentives and deals on the Civic. That's not a good sign.

I thought Honduh decided awhile ago to go to DOHC?

I'm curious when they are going to show the Accord sedan. its supposidly going on sale this fall. I think they should have showed it at the NY auto as this show more than usual was a big show of reveals. Instead they show a Crossturd "concept" which in reality is the same car with some add ons It shows how out of touch they are. THey think it will help sales of this car??

The last gen Camry especially in SE trim looked nice. I think they should have evolutionized the last gen Camry instead come out with a mis-mesh of designs and angles that don't connect. I think design wise it looks like a mess. But its selling well and they improved the things that the previous one suffered. The Camry has a good head start of the Accord too.

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Last edited by ECHOKnight2000; 04-07-2012 at 09:27 PM.
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#6 Old 04-14-2012, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Jegan_V View Post
Still confused at why they're still sticking to SOHC especially when today's V6s have more than enough low end torque.
Cheap to design, build, and assemble. Pads the bottom line.

Probably why they're using it on so many Hondacura vehicles.

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Originally Posted by ECHOKnight2000 View Post
I thought Honduh decided awhile ago to go to DOHC?
Negative.

If people keep buying products with mediocre design and engineering then the manufacturer have even more incentive to keep producing them.
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#7 Old 04-14-2012, 07:22 PM
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Cheap to design, build, and assemble. Pads the bottom line.

Probably why they're using it on so many Hondacura vehicles.
Our Mitsubishi's 6B31 is setup like that. I also think it's much simpler to manufacture with any type of variable valve timing too. I prefer DOHC due to the fewer moving parts (and tuning possibilities but that is not a factor in production family sedans) but I doubt in a modern car it will make any real difference in vehicle life. When we had the timing belt done the dealer said he'd seen them up over 100k without the need to adjust shims or anything like that.

Quote:
The marketing emphasis on the SE trim model has helped lower the average age of a Camry buyer down to 50, from 59. The mid-grade SE trim model is equipped with a suspension substantially stiffened compared to the standard Camry; it also boasts larger wheels and features paddle shifters on the steering wheel.
Wow, so the people buying Camry's now are only 10 years from retirement instead of 4 or 5. Big whoop
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