Toyota Camry to Eclipse 400,000 Sales, More than Entire Automakers

By Matthew Askari | October 30, 2012
Sometimes, numbers are hard to grasp: when I hear that 40,000 people will buy a certain model car this year, I'm impressed. For instance, Dodge sold 3,230 Challengers last month, and Dodge might end up somewhere around that 40k number on the year. With its popular Ford Mustang, Ford will likely double those figures, moving closer to 80,000 Mustangs, which sounds astronomical. An entire, large, sold-out football stadium worth of people will buy Mustangs this year in America. That's approximately four sold-out NBA and NHL arenas. That seems like a lot. So when we hear the Toyota Camry will likely eclipse the 400,000 mark, we're at a loss for words. But not completely, so keep reading.
Covering this industry, we go on a lot of press trips with just about every automaker. After a typical day of a much-too-early wake-up call, media presentations and test driving new vehicles, we usually unwind and have dinner. Get two drinks into a spokesperson from just about any automaker, and it's bound to come up--the Toyota Camry. No car seems to draw the ire of the auto industry like America's best seller. To give you further perspective, the Camry model alone will sell more than everything BMW and Mazda will sell this year, combined. So it's no surprise that there's an underlying resentment.
Other automakers have tried to emulate Toyota's mid-size sedan success, and a few models like the Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, Ford Fusion, and Volkswagen Passat have done very well in this segment. But the Toyota Camry is still the top dog. As assistant editor Joel Arellano said in his 2012 Toyota Camry road test: "This sedan meets the average car owner's major must-haves--comfort, roominess, decent power, safety, and fuel economy--while throwing in lots of extras like a touch-screen infotainment system. While many of the competitors' sedans are more fun to drive or are offered at lower prices, the Toyota Camry still continues to command high resale values and a reputation for dependability, factors only developed after decades of consistently good offerings and service." Apparently, that adds up to 400,000 Camry models sold. Note: Toyota Camry sales reached an all-time high in 2007 with 473,108 models sold. Last year Toyota sold 308,510, numbers that reflect a supply shortage on account of the earthquake and tsunami that affected Japan in March 2011. Source: Toyota, Wards Auto