First Camry introduced in the US market

Toyota’s US subsidiary recently reported that 10 million units of the Toyota Camry have been sold in America, representing nearly 20% of all the vehicles Toyota has ever sold in that market since the brand first appeared in California in the late 1950s.

The Camry has been in the US market for 30 years and has been America’s top-selling car for the past 11 years. The first generation was introduced in 1983 and three decades later, 773 of the cars sold during the first year are known to be still in use.

 

The Camry’s popularity in America grew quickly after the 1992 wide-body model (shown above) was introduced as a variant of the narrower body that was sold in Japan. The wide body variant and its Lexus LS-like design was due to the refusal of two top Toyota USA executives to accept the narrow body design for the US market. At a meeting in Toyota City, they had been shown the final version to be produced and immediately rejected it but the chief engineer was unwilling to change the design as it had been finalised.

They then brought their objection to the senior management, the Toyodas, who surprisingly took their side and instructed the chief engineer to come up with a new design that was not as conservative and slab-sided.

The new design was later seen to be like the Lexus LS which was a rising star at that time, having been launched in 1989. The Toyota USA executives loved the design and proved that their objection had been justified when it went on to sell exceptionally well.

Incidentally, it was with that Camry generation (XV10) that Toyota designated as its second ‘world car’ after the Corolla. It was made at a new plant in Australia and introduced to ASEAN markets, including Malaysia.

The current Camry generation (US version)

“We couldn’t be more excited about Camry’s 10 millionth sale in the USA,” said Bob Carter, Senior Vice President of Automotive Operations of Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc.  “With the support of so many loyal customers, Camry has truly become part of the country’s fibre. For seven generations, Toyota dealers have also been instrumental in getting Americans behind the wheel of a Camry.”

During the first five years, the Camry was imported from Japan and then in May 1988, production of the model began at the Toyota plant in Kentucky. Today, virtually all Camrys sold in the US, I including the hybrid variants, are produced in the US. The Camry is also claimed to be ‘the most American-made car’ as 75% of its parts comes from supplier in the US.

To know more about the Camry available in Malaysia, visit www.toyota.com.my

[Chips Yap]

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