After being the best-selling vehicle in the US for more than 10 years, analysts begin to doubt that the Toyota Camry will manage to keep the first spot in 2014 as competition is tough.
“Camry for a couple generations lived in an extraordinary circumstance in which Toyota could defend price and volume,” said Eric Noble, president of Car Lab, an industry consultant. “That world is gone, never to return. It’s now like every other vehicle. It’s Clark Kent — it’s Superman without his cape.”
For this year, Camry;s position is save as the model’s US sales have already surpassed Honda’s Accord, Nissan’s Altima and Ford’s Fusion. But doubts begin to spread regarding next year, as Camry’s margin has begun to drop after Ford opened a new Fusion assembly line, GM reworked the Malibu and Hyundai gets set an all-new Sonata.
Even if Camry might lose its spot, Toyota will still remain the world’s biggest automaker after it managed to amazingly recover from a massive recall and natural disasters which affected production in Japan. The automaker has focused on the Camry and redesigned the model to secure its title and meet demand.
“Go back 10 or 15 years and there were really only two choices in the segment. It was Camry or it was Accord. If you look at that entire segment today, there are really strong competitors,” said Jim Lentz, Toyota’s chief executive officer for North America.
Sales of the Camry in August increased 22% increasing sales so far this year to 287,119 units, a number which might help Toyota reach its target of selling 400,000 units by the end of the year. Accord sales increased 17% to 256,926 units, Altima jumped 8.9% to 228,297 units, while the Fusion rose 13% to 206,321 units.