LOS ANGELES -- It has been the best-selling car in the United States for 12 years, but the Toyota Camry is losing ground in the industry's escalating mid-sized sedan wars. Now Toyota will break with tradition by extensively revamping the car just three years after it was redesigned.
Far from the usual midcycle nip-and-tuck, the 2015 Camry that debuts April 16 at the New York auto show will come with major changes to sheet metal and suspension tuning, Toyota sources say. The car goes on sale in the fall.
The midcycle revamp is an apparent response to consumers' indifferent reaction to the bland 2012 redesign and Toyota's subsequent need to crank up incentives. Camry sales were flat in 2013, just keeping pace with the overall segment, and the car's 2014 sales through February fell 17 percent, compared with an 11 percent drop for the segment.
April 16 will be an intriguing day at the New York show. A fully redesigned Hyundai Sonata -- the car that symbolizes the Camry's stronger mid-sized competition -- also will debut.
Toyota isn't talking about the changes to the Camry, but sources say that the 2015 version's exterior panels will have "bold changes" and that the suspension will be retuned for sportier handling. The interior will gain some improved materials, and as is typical, the trim levels will see improved standard content and features.
The changes also will incorporate the 20141/2 model's updated safety structure, which improved the Camry's performance in the small-overlap front crash test.