Toyota Shuffles Production to Boost Camry Sales

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
toyota shuffles production to boost camry sales

The Toyota Camry is one of four vehicles (including the Corolla) that now sells more prolifically than Ford's dethroned F150 full-sized pickup. At the same time, the new Toyota Tundra pickup is a drug on the market; sales fell 34 percent vs. May 2007. Do the math. ToMoCo have. The transplant's looking at using its famed production flexibility to replace excess Tundra capacity with Camry assembly. Automotive News [sub] reports that Toyota is switching its Princeton, Indiana plant from cranking-out slow-selling Tundra/Sequoia trucks and Sienna minivans to producing the Camry, which sold 51,291 units last month. Though Toyota has not officially responded to the reports of production shuffling, though the company does say it's "looking at a lot of things to balance production." With Tundra production already slowed at Toyota's second truck plant in San Antonio, there's no doubt that Toyota (like many automakers) is over invested in a product that dropped sales to the tune of 31 percent last month. Camry spent much of the 1990's at the top of sedan sales records, and with the battle for the best selling vehicle in America wide open, boosting Camry production could help Toyota's champion snag top-spot bragging rights.

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  • Dastanley Dastanley on Jun 10, 2008

    I've owned an '89 Corolla SR5 and currently own a 2006 Corolla CE (Classic Edition - a stripper) for my second vehicle. True, the Corolla is underwhelming and a disappointment when compared with the '89. At least the '89 was fun. The '06 is like having sex with a sleepy fat chick - you'd never want your friends to find out (you drive one) but it's still maybe better than going solo (walking) and you get the job done. It's ToMoCos image with the Camry and Corolla that hurts. ToMoCo wants to be recognized as the responsible, safe, and green company. The fun kid has grown up and the cars have all the personality of a brick wall these days. Sure my Corolla is the best appliance on wheels I've owned. It gets me where I'm going on the cheap and never breaks down. Mission accomplished. It's the around town grocery getter and errand runner. And it still has the stodgy image of a menopausal librarian's car with granny glasses that needs more cupholders for the prune juice. Like I said, it's my second vehicle.

  • Geotpf Geotpf on Jun 10, 2008
    Juniper : June 10th, 2008 at 12:03 pm Does Toyota really need to increase Camry volume? It looks to me that the market has shifted down one size and the volume leaders will be Civic and Corolla, as they were in May. The Accord and Camry were in the same ballpark as the Civic and Corolla (all four beat the F-150 which was in fifth).

  • Stingray Stingray on Jun 11, 2008
    mel23 : I don’t know that Toyota can switch a truck plant to sedans, and I don’t know that they can’t. I think the Princeton plant has built the Sequoia, Tundra and Sienna. The first 2 are BOF and the Sienna is unibody I think, so maybe they’ll build the Camry on the Sienna line.... Anybody know if it’s easy vs. next to impossible to build unibodys and BOF stuff on the same line? Based on my experience (I've worked in both systems), it just would be very difficult to do. BOF need 2 separate lines in the trim shop for assembly: 1 for the chassis, 1 for the cabin, and at some point the body marries the chassis. On unibody, you just have one line. For operator ease, chassis should be assembled upside down, then turned over... engine comes is installed from over the chassis. In unibody, engine comes from inside, which requires to elevate the car to install it, and if they're very ergonomical friendly, while the car is elevated, rotate it to an angle of about 45º for easier assembly. If they assemble unibody in that plant, example Sienna, that also shares platform with the Camry, then it's easier to switch. The body shop would need perhaps new jigs and surely robot programming to handle the new model. The paint shop would need almost the same. Then you have to train operators in the 3 shops on that car, run pre-production examples, audit them, start mass production.

  • TheImportSpecialist TheImportSpecialist on Jun 12, 2008

    Everyone is bashing Toyota for producing, boring, bland vehicles. Toyota builds vehicles that are not overly offensive, targeted to the masses who buy vehicles. Not just a few people who go against the grain. Go buy your Pontiac, and make friends with the service manager at the dealership as you will be seeing him often. Obviously they are doing something right, they have sent the "Big Three" back to the drawing board, and lets not even talk about the financial hurt they have put on these fatter, slower manufacturers. I could go on but bottom line is they may not be the sexiest, fastest vehicles on the road. But thats obviously not what people want. Look at the facts. Toyota is not the best at anything. But they are damn good at just about everything.Resale Value...(Check the KBB on your GM lately?) Reliability, Quality,Value. Get used to it people and complain about cars that deserve it. Stop Knit Picking