Automaker Rivalry Pushes Toyota to Take Action

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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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