By on May 9, 2014

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No, that title is not a misprint. Fuji Heavy Industries, which current builds the Toyota Camry at an Indiana assembly plant, will stop producing the mid-size sedan for Toyota starting in 2016.

Fuji Heavy – parent company of Subaru- makes the Camry under contract for Toyota. Production will be absorbed by Toyota’s Georgetown, Kentucky plant that already builds the Camry. Automotive News reports that the move will free up an additional 100,000 units of capacity for Fuji Heavy, which builds Subaru cars at the plant. Fuji Heavy had sought to expand capacity sufficiently that it could build 300,000 Subaru vehicles per year at the plant – doing so will allow them to utilize the 100,000 units occupied by the Camry, as well as the 170,000 units allocated to Subaru, in order to reach their overall goal.

Georgetown is currently running flat out at 500,000 units annually, with plans to expand to 550,000 units already in the works. But there was no clarification on how Toyota would absorb a further 100,000 units, and retain the Camry’s position as America’s best-selling passenger car.

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52 Comments on “Fuji Heavy To End Toyota Camry Production...”


  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    With the Yen trading at over 100 to the Dollar now, can Toyota resume making the Camry in Japan for export to the US West Coast? That could relieve the capacity problem in Kentucky.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Good for Subbie, not so good for Toyota unless, there is a further expansion plan.

    So either:

    A) They will expand Georgetown to go to 600K or more capacity

    B) They will move part of Camry production to another plant (Mississippi? Don’t know if they are at full capacity, someone else in the B&B would)

    C) They will move part of Camry production to Canada? Seems somewhat unlikely

    D) They are going to give up the moral victory of being the volume leader (total, not retail) and the unnatural acts to get there. Even with a slip of 50K units I believe they still beat Accord, or come real close.

    D seems most logical to me – tightened supply of a popular vehicle will improve ATP in theory – and reduce dealer discounting. It also gets them to pull back on fleet sales to drive more retail. If they cut back right, they keep the lead, improve the numbers, protect resale values, and get away from fleet. FTW

    Subbie is on an absolute tear.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      I don’t get why re: your last sentence. They have AWD, yes. But interiors are lacking, engines are small, and styling is goofy.

      Oh, and people seem to have them break a lot. Or is that remedied in the 05+ models? They also rust, almost as bad as Mazda here in the Mid-West.

      • 0 avatar
        Land Ark

        If you buy a 2005+ non-turbo Legacy (assuming that’s what you’re referring to) the only issues you should face are torn CV boots and wheel bearing replacement outside of regular maintenance. The head gasket issue seems to have been resolved.
        I’ve had a pretty unremarkable time with my 07 Legacy GT wagon. My most major expense so far has been replacing a CV boot after my certified warranty expired. That cost $120 because I was too lazy to do it myself. Ive had it for 5 years.

        But I long for the 2009 and prior years when the Legacy was actually attractive and appealing.

        • 0 avatar

          2.5 Head gaskets…still a problem thru the end of that generation in 2009/2010.

          Current 2.5 is a new design, we’ll see how it does in the head gasket department.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          So really, get the 3.6R, and you can avoid the head gaskets and turbo potential issues, and just end up with CV issues.

          But boy do they make you pay a pretty penny, and boy are they hard to find used.

          I will say the Outback from 02 I checked out once did feel very solid, and the leather still looked new. It just had rust all around the tailgate, and needed new headlamp lenses.

        • 0 avatar
          bd2

          Don’t forget the O2 sensors.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Oh those too. They’re as bad as Audi in that regard.

            People say oh Subaru so dandy, and I’m thinking ehhh not really.

      • 0 avatar
        djsyndrome

        They’re on a tear because they undercut many competing models when equipped similarly, they’re amazingly safe, their dealer network is expanding, gas mileage is improving without resorting to tiny turbocharged engines, and they’ve finally figured out that if they send more models to America, people will buy them.

        You should probably define ‘lacking’. Their interiors are functional and simple, and for many of Subaru’s target demographic functionality > bells and whistles. I’ll concede that the infotainment systems are universally terrible, although perhaps the new ones in the ’15 Legacy and Outback are improved.

        The only problem we had on our ’08 Impreza was a dead headlight cluster. Mechanically it was flawless through 60k miles. Our new Forester is 15k in and is as tight as it was when we bought it. Anecdotal, sure, but we’ve had good luck thus far.

        • 0 avatar

          Subaru interiors are disasters when it comes to aesthetics of design, especially for the amount of money you have to pay for these cars. The rectangular bin openings thinly-flocked with cheap rag, the numerous blanks calling attention to options you didn’t get, the unattractive stereo head units, the terrible color selection, etc. However, to the average Subaru buyer who prefers function over form, this is a non issue and I love the vehicles for ease of which I can retail them.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            This. I think of the interior on the Tribeca. BLAAAAGH.

          • 0 avatar
            NormSV650

            I agree on the Subaru(Forester) having sub-utilitarian interiors. I call the girlfriend’s 2012 Forester “the truck” as the sparseness reminded me of old pickup trucks growing up. Subaru can’t even design a elbow rest to hold my arm of a 170 lbs man. Her 2012 was two quarts low on oil at less than 20K total miles. Not good when there is no “low oil” dummy light. She has severe piston slap at start-up now most because of the low oil level. The tires were starting to dry rot and made the car a hazzard this past winter that even my lonely old Encore AWD would out drive it on packed snow. Even with new tires on the highway the radio had to be turned up over the noise just to hear it. And that radio display…1999 Saab 9-5 era for sure! She does like the refinement in the Encore and wants to take over mine in a year when the lease is up on the Suby.

            Good thing it is a lease as I’m not too impressed with the Forester as a whole. Except for the visibility, like most modern cars has been getting smaller, which is about the only thing going for it.

          • 0 avatar
            gottacook

            The 2009-13 Forester did indeed have a terribly cheap-seeming interior. The Impreza of the same generation (2008-11) had solid unpadded molded sun visors and flimsy plastic interior door panels with the tiniest amount of padding for the armrest. Also, the ’09 Forester was the first without standard fog lights, and the blanks were just ugly. Although larger, the interior of the 2009-13 was a big step down from that of the final generation of the true Forester, 2006-08.

            Both the Forester and Impreza are much nicer in their current generations. (The current Forester and Impreza use the same dashboard; same for the previous generation.)

            Our two Subarus (an ’03 Legacy wagon from Indiana and an ’06 Forester, both 5-speed) haven’t been bulletproof but will last for many more years with care, and they give a real sense of security year-round, plus you can see out of them at a glance in any direction. And the low center of gravity makes back roads fun, at least for me.

          • 0 avatar
            NormSV650

            There is no padded interior areas in the 2012 Forester. You seemed to only compare Subaru with the other models in their line-up. There are nicer cars that offer much more for the dollar and get better fuel economy along with similar crash standards.

            We won’t start on the Forester looks.

        • 0 avatar
          dtremit

          Who on earth are they undercutting? Having just helped someone shop for small CUVs, the Forester got dropped early because the price wasn’t even close to competitive.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        What’s not to get. My comment of being on a tear wasn’t commentary on the quality of the product. With only a couple of exceptions, Subaru can’t build product fast enough.

        BMW is on a tear too – that doesn’t mean the current 3-series is the crowning achievement of all things BMW.

        Subaru benefits from massive brand perception of bullet proof reliability. My fiance and my future stepson bought into that message. My future stepsons 2011 Impreza is…errrrr…a bit of a problem child.

        The S.O. Forrester is a 2006 stripper with a non-turbo engine and steel rims. It is more living up to its reputation – although it has low miles for its age.

        But you can’t deny that Subaru sales are darn good.

        • 0 avatar
          Power6

          Subaru learned the same lesson Honda learned more recently…don’t go too cheap on the interiors! Those hard plastic dashes and doors were a little too far…all the latest gen models have fixed that but Subaru still has a very simple interior design.

          No idea why they can’t give the US a decent armrest, SOA is a funny company. I had to import a factory accessory from Subaru Japan that raises the console box to solve that problem. But SOA can’t get it done.

          • 0 avatar
            sgeffe

            The carpet in the new Accords is still a little cut-rate, and I’m always cautioning people who ride in my Accord to be careful where they touch, just so nothing gets scratched. I’m afraid something may happen if I look at something in there funny! (The switchgear itself is usual dead-nuts Honda; it’s some of the trim that seems flimsier than I’d like.)

      • 0 avatar
        pragmatist

        They’re pretty damned good. They are also just about the only vehicle without the clunkly engine (high CG) one side of the car, trans other side, power turns 2 corners to get to the back wheels.

        Subie: Flat 4 (only truly balanced 4 cylinder configuration), low CG, potentially low hood line, balanced drive train. It’s the only AWD that’s not cobbled up as an after thought.

    • 0 avatar

      Hey, maybe they will produce Camrys at the truck plant in TX. After all, they are moving their headquarters there. They seem to have plenty of capacity at the Tundra plant and Toyota is a master at building multiple vehicles on the same line. Not predicting this, just musing at the possibility.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @Ruggles – I doubt it. My understanding is Toyota is maxed out with truck capacity. They’ve killed the regular cab Tacoma and IIRC will try to increase Tacoma production in Mexico.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          The truck plant in Texas is producing less than half of what it was designed to do. The only reason the regular cab Tacoma was killed was because there was zero profit in it. The only buyers were fleet buyers who bought strippo models.

          • 0 avatar
            APaGttH

            I thought San Antonio’s total capacity was about 250K – and that they are now Tacomas and Tundras there (and Highlanders?).

            Will gladly be corrected. I seem to remember reading about this as Toyota was shuffling things around in the post-economic meltdown, NUMMI shut down economy.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          The Tijuana plant only builds Tacoma crew cabs. If they shift all crew cab Tacos to TJ, and leave the San Antonio plant to only build Access cabs, that should alleviate the overload and related headaches. Like the Tacoma suffering low quality issues.

          And the Tacoma would still get “Made in the USA” status. All Tacoma pickup beds are Hecho en Mexico too.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      The smart thing for Toyota to do would be D but they haven’t shown that they are smart in recent years. I bet the thought of loosing that #1 crown will be unthinkable and they will continue to throw as much money as necessary at the problem to keep it as long as they can.

    • 0 avatar
      Volt 230

      I just hope they don’t speed up the line, as GM did with the X-cars and the rest is automotive history.

    • 0 avatar
      dtremit

      Option E might be displacing the Avalon and/or Venza.

  • avatar
    Pebble

    “End Toyota Camry Production”…sweeter words were never heard.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Has anybody asked questions regarding the quality difference in KY vs. IN Camrys? I’d think KY does it better.

    And don’t they build the Scion GT/BRZ there in Indiana as well?

  • avatar
    Pch101

    “But there was no clarification on how Toyota would absorb a further 100,000 units, and retain the Camry’s position as America’s best-selling passenger car.”

    Last year, the state of Kentucky approved a nine-figure incentives package to expand the Georgetown plant.

  • avatar
    Jonathan H.

    My guess would be that the Venza might possibly be getting the ax to make room for some extra Camry production. That would free up 10k units per year capacity out of the gate. Then just increase the takt time and/or add a third shift to make up the difference.

    • 0 avatar
      djsyndrome

      10k? Venza sells almost 50k a year between US and Canada. But it’s showing it’s age, and it’s now about to be two generations behind the Camry.

      I’d say kill it and give us a true Camry Wagon, with the double rear wipers and everything.

      • 0 avatar

        …that no one would buy.

        The Venza wraps a Camry chassis with an overflared, entirely unattractive wrapper that probably lacks the cargo room a traditional wagon would have in spades – and sells tremendously strong at least around here it seems. AARP vehicle of the year.

        • 0 avatar
          Land Ark

          My retired mom has a Venza. It has lots of leg room and it’s plenty wide inside. But it definitely feels cramped above the waist. I’m not sure how they can make a vehicle that big feel that small inside. This goes double for the cargo area.

        • 0 avatar
          djsyndrome

          It was a bit tongue-in-cheek, but the Venza is an also-ran where I live. Then again, I live in a state where the Outback is the best selling car, so that might be a factor.

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      They seem to be aiming that thing squarely at the empty-nesters, which we are, and on a couple of occasions my wife has suggested getting one.

  • avatar
    wmba

    Well, this is hardly news. It was announced late last year.

  • avatar
    canddmeyer

    The only sad thing I’ve read that concerns this is that the Subaru built Camry’s had less warranty work than the Kentucky Camry’s.

    Still, Subaru is probably tickled the contract is over as the Forester is selling way more than anticipated, and the remodeled Legacy’s and Outback’s are hitting the market shortly.

  • avatar

    It’s an easy fix: just jack the price of the car 10% and plant capacity is no longer a problem.


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