An increasingly worried Toyota is struggling to keep its king-of-the-hill sales leader from taking a tumble.
While the Japanese importer recorded a 6% increase in sales for the first half of 2013, the best-selling Toyota Camry sedan was off an unexpected 2% as its faced increasing competition from a range of Asian and U.S. alternatives, such as the more recently updated Honda Accord and Ford Fusion, which experienced sharp increases during the six month period.
While Camry still has a 21,000-unit lead over the Accord, the gap has been narrowed by more than two-thirds since this time a year ago – prompting Toyota to roll out new incentives and price cuts, a move the maker has traditionally shied away from. And Camry isn’t the only model that Toyota is having to use some financial muscle to prop up.
The Prius, which has routinely accounted for more than half of all hybrid vehicles sold in the U.S. over the last decade, was down 5% for the first half of the year, Ford alternatives like the Fusion Hybrid and C-Max Hybrid among the growing number of competing gas-electric models chipping into the Toyota Prius lead.