Toyota says Camry sure to win 11th straight U.S. best-selling car title
NAPA, Calif. -- Toyota says its Camry is certain to win the U.S. best-selling car title for the 11th straight year.
With slightly more than two months left in 2012, the Camry's nearly 67,000-unit lead over the second-place Honda Accord is insurmountable, said Rick LoFaso, Toyota corporate manager for car marketing.
"They couldn't catch us if they wanted to," LoFaso said.
More impressive, he said, is that the Camry will exceed Toyota's ambitious 2012 sales target by 15 percentage points. Originally, Toyota projected it would sell 360,000 Camrys this year. But LoFaso says Toyota should finish the year at 400,000 Camrys sold.
Through September, Toyota sold 314,788 Camrys in the United States, up 37 percent from the same nine months last year.
Toyota has not bought this title, LoFaso said. Quoting proprietary Power Information Network data, LoFaso said transaction prices for Camry have gone from the mid-sized sedan segment's lowest to its highest. At the same time, Camry incentives have gone from the segment's highest to its lowest, LoFaso said.
Camry fleet sales are slightly higher than normal this year. While Toyota prefers rental and corporate fleets to account for 10 percent of sales, this year the share is closer to 15 percent, or 60,000 units. That is because Toyota asked fleet buyers to delay their 2011 purchases while the tsunami-wracked automaker refilled its inventory stocks for retail customers. As a result, first quarter "make good" sales to fleets exceeded traditional levels.
As for 2013, LoFaso said Toyota expects Camry sales to keep growing. But with introductions this year of a redesigned Accord, Nissan Altima, Ford Fusion and Chevrolet Malibu, next year shapes up to be a dogfight.
2. Honda Accord -- 247,847
3. Nissan Altima -- 234,040
4, Honda Civic -- 234,029
Source: Automotive News Data Center
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