Toyota intends to keep its Camry sedan as the best-selling car in the Unites States this year, Senior Vice President Bob Carter told industry analysts, Detroit News reports.
According to Carter the Japanese automaker will sell more than 400,000 units this year, enough to beat the rivals – Honda’s Accord, Ford’s Fusion and Nissan’s Altima.
“The midsize sedan market is the largest segment in the industry, and we want Toyota to be America’s favorite car — period,” he said at the J.P. Morgan Auto Conference in New York.
Toyota started to offer big discounts on the car to keep sales strong (its average sales price of just over $20,900 in July), but the competition is doing the same, many times offering even higher incentives. In July the giant said it sold more than 242,000 units for the first seven months of the year – an increase of 16 percent – but the completion is near as the Accord trailed Camry in sales by only 21,000, closing a gap that was 59,000 a year earlier.
The Toyota Camry has been the best-selling U.S. car since 2002 but Ford is preparing to begin production at its plant in Flat Rock, Mich – a new line that is expected to produce about 100,000 Fusions annually, supplementing the estimated 350,000 produced annually at Ford’s plant in Hermosillo, Mexico.
“With sufficient capacity we are on the cusp of competing at Accord and Camry volumes,” said Ford analyst Erich Merkle. `
Therefore if this year, for Toyota is business-as-usual, 2014 may be a surprise, considering the fact that Ford is trying to fix most of its problems regarding production and distribution.
“Once those are fixed, Fusion will likely displace Accord and Camry. It’s been a long dry spell in between (Taurus and Fusion), but Ford is going to do it again.” said Kelly Blue Book analyst Karl Brauer.
In July Toyota sold 34,780 Camry units, Honda 31,507 Accord vehicles, while Ford sold only 20,522 vehicles.