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Toyota Pushes Up New Camry Launch

Maker anxious to introduce its most critical 2012 product line.

by on Sep.02, 2011

The 2012 Toyota Camry will now roll into showrooms by mid-September.

Anxious to rebuild demand after six months of product shortages, Toyota says it will launch its new 2012 Camry sedan in mid-September, about two weeks ahead of its original schedule.

Camry is just one of 10 product launches Toyota is scheduling over the next year, with a mix of crossovers, sedans and even its first plug-in hybrid on the calendar, but no single model is more important than Camry which has been the nation’s best-selling passenger car for the last nine years running – and 13 of the last 14 years.

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The decision to move up the on-sale date of the new midsize sedan — originally planned for October 3rd — was announced during a conference call with reporters discussing the maker’s weak August sales numbers.  Toyota posted a 13% decline for the month.  That was better than the 24% dip posted by its Japanese rival, Honda, but a sharp contrast with the double-digit increases in demand reported by Detroit’s Big Three – as well as the third member of the Japanese Big Three, Nissan.

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First Drive: 2012 Toyota Camry

Putting the brand on the line.

by on Aug.24, 2011

Toyota bills the 2012 Camry as a revolutionary redesign for the best-selling midsize sedan.

Few cars more clearly define a brand than Toyota’s midsize Camry sedan, a nameplate that has led the U.S. passenger car sales charts for 13 of the last 14 years.  And, arguably, no product is more important to Toyota as the maker struggles to emerge from a series of setbacks – including 2010’s safety recalls and this year’s earthquake-led production shortages.

Bringing a new car to market is a long and involved process, so it’s serendipitous that what Toyota is billing as “the reinvention of the Camry” will be ready to roll into showrooms for an October launch — just as the maker gets production at the last of its plants back up to speed.  The 25-year-old factory in Georgetown, Kentucky is already starting to build the first of the 2012 Toyota Camrys so we jumped at the chance to take the sedan for a spin through the challenging mountainous terrain in central Washington, a few hours east of Seattle.

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The Japanese giant is making some bold claims for the new 4-door, billing the 2012 Camry as essentially all-new — though that’s a matter of definition.  While the sedan still rides on the same platform as the outgoing model, the sheet metal has been completely redone for the new model-year, and 90% of the Camry’s parts have been “re-engineered.”

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