Toyota Motor Corp. is making rare styling changes in the Camry sedan just halfway into the car’s usual design cycle, a sign the automaker is eager to stem gains made by Hyundai Motor Co.’s Sonata, which also is being reworked for 2015.
Toyota Motor Corp.’s North American chief, preparing to sell Camry-sized hydrogen sedans next year, said he’s “bullish” about advances in the company’s fuel cell system and wants more U.S. supply of the Japan-built cars.
Toyota Motor Corp.’s Camry, the best-selling car in the U.S. for 11 straight years, will keep its lead in 2013 over competing midsize sedans from Honda Motor Co. and Ford Motor Co., Toyota’s U.S. sales chief said.
When Hyundai Motor Co. last overhauled the Sonata in 2009, motorists embraced the curvier exterior and the South Korean company went on to gain more market share than any major automaker for the next half decade.
Toyota Motor Corp.’s Camry has outrun a recession, recalls and natural disasters to stay America’s best-selling car for more than a decade. Odds are worsening that it can keep the title next year as challengers gear up for another run at topping the mild-mannered sedan.
Cautious consumers are slowing auto demand, a trend that won’t clear up until after the November presidential election, said Jim Lentz, chief executive officer of the U.S. sales arm of Toyota Motor Corp., which took back the global auto-sales lead in 2012’s first half.
Toyota Motor Corp.’s top North American executive said the carmaker hasn’t decided to end a production deal that supplies it with 100,000 Camry sedans annually from Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd.’s U.S. Subaru plant.
Toyota Motor Corp., the biggest seller of gasoline-electric cars, said U.S. Prius sales will climb more than 60 percent to a record this year, helped by the introduction of a smaller version of the hybrid hatchback.