Automaker Rivalry Pushes Toyota to Take Action

Bloomberg News - March 6, 2013

The Toy­ota Cam­ry sedan has been the top-sell­ing car in the U.S. for 11 years, but sales slumped in Feb­ru­ary from last year’s same month sales.

Find out what Toy­ota is doing to rem­e­dy the sit­u­a­tion.

While Camry’s sales would have to con­tin­ue to slide to lose its No. 1 title — it out­sold its near­est com­peti­tor by 22 per­cent last year and kept that same lead so far this year — a swoon for its trade­mark prod­uct would be a blow for Toy­ota.

Just last week, Toy­ota final­ly offered a tid­bit: no-inter­est financ­ing on the 2013 Cam­ry, exclud­ing the hybrid ver­sion. The ques­tion now is whether it will take an even big­ger bite out of its mar­gins to pro­tect the U.S. mar­ket-share gains Toy­ota has made in the first two months of the year.

Of the top four mid­size sedans in Feb­ru­ary, Cam­ry had the sec­ond-low­est incen­tives at $1,505 per car, accord­ing to Edmunds.com. Nis­san Motor Co’s Alti­ma offers about $260 more and Ford Motor Co.’s Fusion about $650 more.  Hon­da Motor Co.’s Accord, the peren­ni­al No. 2, is also new this year. Hon­da offered $567 for the Accord that went on sale in late 2012.

Toy­ota already offered no-inter­est loans on the 2012 Cam­ry and last week extend­ed them to the non-hybrid ver­sion of the 2013 Cam­ry.

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