Here It Comes: Camry 2012

Toyota and Nissan are launching all new Camry and Altima, as expected.  These are the bread and butter sedans for two of the J3, with models that topped 20% operating margins during the peak markets.  A lot has changes since the last generations were launched in 2007, but this will make a difference, particularly for Toyota which has seen nothing but headwinds for the past year, and adds more tailwinds to Nissan which seems to have caught all the breaks.

While Camry quality slipped with the 2007 model, perhaps an omen to what was to come for the giant, all reports are that Toyota has upgraded perceived quality inside and out on the new car, and most experts expect the Camry to retain its best-selling car status. Built in the US with high dollar content, the Camry has some hedge against the atrocious yen (see my 10/6 post) and should also bring buyers back into the Toyota showrooms which have been lonely since the Tsunami inventory break.  Overall, the Camry could be the catalyst to reverse Toyota’s momentum.

My take: the risks are bigger today with come credible entries form Ford and GM (still don’t see the Chrysler 200 in the same league) and most importantly the dramatic advanced made by Kia and Hyundai.  I recently drove a rented Kia Optima and was floored all around, interior, styling and performance.  However, in the end, I expect Toyota to make good on this event and turn the volume and share price slide.  More to come on Nissan Altima…


2 thoughts on “Here It Comes: Camry 2012

  1. Pingback: Altima -v- Camry Update | Gerry Spahn

  2. Pingback: Again the yen: is dollar pickup real or just window dressing? | Gerry Spahn

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