U.S. sales of the seventh-generation Camry soared 31 percent in 2012, its first full year on the market, as the automaker rebounded from the 2011 earthquake in Japan and the changeover to the redesigned model.
But the Camry’s 1 percent increase last year, to 408,484, trailed the advances of its closest mid-sized rivals -- the Honda Accord, Nissan Altima and Ford Fusion. This year, Toyota found itself behind the Altima after two months before surging in March to take a first-quarter lead.
They’re all fighting in a segment that grew just 1 percent last year while industry sales expanded 8 percent. Through March of this year, sales of mid-sized cars are down 8 percent in an overall market that has gained 1 percent.