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Toyota Will Do Whatever it Takes to Keep the Camry on Top

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For the last 11 years the Toyota Camry has held onto the "America's best-selling car" title, but this year the Camry is facing some stiff competition, which is prompting Toyota to take action. The current Toyota Camry has only been on the market for two years, but it is already one of the older models in the segment with the Ford Fusion, Honda Accord and Nissan Altima, which were all new for the 2013 model year.

So far this year the Camry still holds onto the top sales spot, but in two of the first five months of this year the Camry was outsold by its rivals. Also this year the Accord, Altima and Fusion have all had sales increases, while the Camry's overall sales are off by more than 10,000 units through May.

To keep it ahead of the midsize sedan segment Toyota is going to pile on incentives. "We will do what is necessary to get the vehicle into the hands of new and loyal customers," Toyota Division General Manager Bill Fay. Interestingly the Camry is also the only on of the four top-selling midsize sedans to get increased incentive spending this year.

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The increased incentives may move more Camrys this year, but will it hurt the Camry's long-term value? The Camry's 36-month residual value is near the top of the segment at 54.4 percent, compared to an average of 50.9 for the segment. Only the Accord is higher at 55.6 percent.

Although Toyota is going to add more incentives to move the Camrys off dealer lots, Honda refuses to follow suit to catch the Camry. John Mendel, executive vice president of sales at American Honda stated, "We're not going to damage the customer's decision or financial investment in the vehicle just to claim a leadership role against a competitor. It just doesn't make any sense. We're not going to do anything it takes."

Source: Toyota via Automotive News

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