RICK KRANZ

The Toyota Camry's days at No. 1 may be numbered

Automotive News | December 3, 2010 - 10:15 am EST

The Camry continues to be the No. 1 selling car in the United States, but Toyota’s bragging rights are in jeopardy.

Specifically, sales of Toyota’s top-selling vehicle are losing steam.

Despite an overall market that bounced back 17 percent in November, Camry sales dropped a whopping 24 percent last month. For the year, sales are off 8 percent.

The competition, meanwhile, is gaining steam.

For the 11-month period, the Honda Accord, the No. 2 selling car, is closing in, 17,581 units behind. Sales are up 7 percent for the year. The Accord is unlikely to surpass Camry this year, but 2011 could be a different story if Toyota’s recall woes remain on the minds of shoppers.

Besides the Accord, each similar-sized sedan in the 11-month Top 10 list is on the plus side.

Sales of Hyundai’s redesigned Sonata jumped 65 percent. The Chevrolet Malibu is up 32 percent; Ford Fusion, 22 percent; and Nissan Altima, 12 percent. Even the long-in-the-tooth Impala climbed 6 percent.

Camry has been the No. 1 selling car since 2002 -- this year would be ninth straight year. But with Toyota’s bulletproof reputation damaged, Honda could end 2011 shouting, “We’re No. 1.”

Rick Kranz is product editor for Automotive News.Rick Kranz is product editor for Automotive News.

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