All of the New 2018 Toyota Camrys Sold in America in July Were Japan Imports

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain

We learned early in July that many of the early 2018 Toyota Camrys available in Toyota’s U.S. showrooms wouldn’t be built in Toyota’s Georgetown, Kentucky, assembly plant.

Through June, not a single one of the 2016 and 2017 Camrys sold in America were imported. But all of the 2018 Toyota Camrys sold in July came across the Pacific from Japan.

Granted, most of the Camrys leaving Toyota showrooms are still old new Camrys, not new new Camrys.

The reason for Kentucky’s delay? Transitioning to an assembly line that runs the Toyota New Global Architecture requires “a couple steps back before it can move forward in efficiency.” Despite added workforce — Georgetown has more employees now than ever before — ramping up production in Kentucky was never intended to be an instantaneous action.

So after noticing in Toyota’s monthly sales report that Toyota sold 33,827 total Camrys but only 31,230 North American-built Camrys, we wanted to know where the 2017/2018 line was drawn.

“All 2018 Camry’s sold in July were imported from Japan,” Toyota spokesperson Sam Butto tells TTAC.

Without those new Japanese imports, the Toyota Camry was still America’s best-selling midsize car in July. (The Honda Civic was America’s top-selling car overall last month.) But rather than a modest 1-percent downturn, Camry volume would have fallen 9 percent. Instead, the first 2,587 copies of the all-new 2018 Toyota Camry accounted for 8 percent of the Camrys sold in the United States in July.

In total, the Toyota/Lexus family has relied upon non-NAFTA vehicles for 28 percent of the 1,377,222 U.S. auto sales the company’s generated in the first seven months of 2017. Toyota does, however, build more Camrys in the U.S. than any other vehicle.

Through the end of July, the Camry trails the Honda Civic by 1,722 sales in the Toyota’s quest to end 2017 as America’s top-selling car for a 16th consecutive year. Of the 212,446 Civics sold so far in 2017, 44,737 have been England-built hatchbacks.

Meanwhile, Toyota’s Butto says, “As soon as our Kentucky plant finishes ramping up for the 2018 model, all 2018 Camry’s will be manufactured here for the U.S. market.”

[Image: Toyota]

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and and the founder and former editor of Follow on Twitter @timcaincars.

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  • SoCalMikester SoCalMikester on Aug 02, 2017

    gimme a J vin any time. as for the orange peel? seems to me the germans are wurst at it.

  • Big Al from Oz Big Al from Oz on Aug 03, 2017

    I'll be! The US isn't competitive in the auto business! Australia Camry production moved to Japan as well. This is a good idea by Toyota. The consumer will get a better and cheaper product.

    • See 3 previous
    • Gtem Gtem on Aug 03, 2017

      @Big Al from Oz A long winded diatribe that really doesn't say anything. Foreign transplants move to the US and bring with them a ton of suppliers that they localize. They flourish here and expand. What's not to understand about that? Okay so the US made products aren't quite Tahara-made Land Cruisers in terms of quality (then again the Tahara-made 4Runner we get in the US has the same lousy paint as a Lexington Camry). Doesn't take away from the fact that business is doing well, Toyota is massively profitable in the US, and not just because of some sort of subsidies or some kind of tariff conspiracy of yours.

  • Mike Some Evs are hitting their 3 year lease residual values in 6 months.
  • Tassos Jong-iL I am just here for the beer! (did I say it right?)
  • El scotto Tim, to be tactful I think a great many of us would like a transcript of TTAC's podcast. 90 minutes is just too long for most of us to listen. -evil El Scotto kicking in- The blog at best provides amusement, 90 minutes is just too much. Way too much.
  • TooManyCars VoGhost; I was referring more to the Canadian context, but the same graft is occurring in the US of A and Europe. Political affiliation appears to be irrelevant.
  • The Oracle Going to see a lot of corporations migrating out of Delaware as the state of incorporation. Musk sets trends, he doesn’t follow them.