Facing fierce competition from Honda and Ford, Toyota plans to act and increase the sales its flagship Camry and Corolla sedans in the U.S., its biggest market.
The company has been losing share this year in the U.S., posting the smallest sales gains among the six top automakers. The Honda Accord, Nissan Altima and Ford Fusion have gained ground on Camry, the top-selling car in the U.S. for 11 years, while the Honda Civic is outpacing Corolla among subcompacts.
“The standards for modern cars keep rising, which puts pressure on established models like the Corolla,” said Karl Brauer, an analyst for Kelley Blue Book, an automotive pricing and data company in Irvine, California. “Being safe, reliable and refined isn’t enough anymore.”
To tackle this rising problems, Toyota is bringing out a redesigned Corolla next month with improved looks and performance intended to broaden its appeal. The world’s largest automaker also plans to keep prices steady on Camry as it defends the model’s bragging rights as the top-selling car in the U.S.
Also, Corolla is the subject of a dispute between Toyota and Ford as the Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker says Focus is the world’s best-selling model by nameplate. Toyota, which sells the Corolla under different names in some markets, rejects that definition.