Monday, July 29, 2013
Camry in Tough Fight to Hold onto Top Spot
With competition hotter than this summer's weather in the midsize sedan market, Toyota is trying to fend off a slew of challengers to keep its Camry in the No. 1 slot.
Camry's sales have slid two percent in calendar year 2013, as rivals such as the Nissan Altima, Honda Accord and Ford Fusion have posted sharp gains, according to sales data.
In response, Toyota has turned to financial incentives to try to keep Camry at the top, where it's been for 10 years.
J.D. Power and Associates reported that Camry's price cuts were among the highest in midsize sedans, while its sales price, averaging $20,900 as of early this month, was among the lowest in the category.
The venerable Camry hasn't had a dramatic styling overhaul as has been the case with some of its rivals, which may be curbing sales growth.
"The Camry is still a great vehicle, and still is very reliable, but as for style, people have to make their own choices about that," said Georgia Walker, a sales analyst with automotive retailer DriveTime in Atlanta. "With all of the choices on the market today, there is a lot of competition and automakers have to use price, warranty and style to make their cars stand out," she said.