By on August 16, 2018

2018 Toyota Camry SE white rear - Image: Toyota

Toyota resisted the urge for some time. However, the reality of falling sales numbers meant the automaker had to finally pull out its wallet and start incentivising the country’s best-selling midsize sedan.

We told you earlier this month that Camry sales aren’t enjoying the same buoyancy seen after the release of the new-for 2018 model in the latter part of last year. Possibly as a result, Toyota’s discounts, initially available only to Camry lessees, now migrate to buyers. 

According to the deal seekers at CarsDirect, many buyers in the U.S. should find a rebate of $1,000 on both the Camry and Camry Hybrid, though discounts differ depending on market. The customer rebate applies to buyers in New York City, Boston, San Francisco, Chicago, Cincinnati, the mid-Atlantic region, Portland, and Southern California.

Elsewhere, dealer cash awaits. Buyers in the Southeast and Texas stand to gain dealer rebates of $1,250 and $1,500, respectively. Interestingly, CarsDirect notes climbing lease and financing rates at the same time Toyota’s making it cheaper to buy.

A peek at sales data shows U.S. Camry sales slipping since March, with July figures showing a 2.7 percent year-to-date loss. As midsize rivals continue their downward plunge, the Camry becomes the most recent member of the club, posting a volume loss of 22.2 percent last month. While it’s still well in the sales lead among its peers — and no doubt poached sales form many of them — the segment’s shrinking nature meant the Camry was sure to fall.

Still, Toyota knows it has the most respected nameplate in the segment. As such, the timing of the modest rebates might have more to do with clearing out 2018 models in anticipation of the 2019s than sales direction. We’ll have to wait and see if discounts become the norm.

[Image: Toyota]

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

46 Comments on “From the ‘Not Surprising’ Files: There’s Finally Cash on the Hood of New Toyota Camrys...”


  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    I’m bummed they don’t offer the panoramic sunroof in anything but the absolute highest trims. I’d love (!!!) an SE Hybrid, but I need the panoramic sunroof.

    If the Camry truly has become as fun to drive as claimed, I’m interested. Though by the time I’ll be back in the market, I don’t know if it will still exist….

  • avatar
    Carroll Prescott

    I can just hear the excuses of the Toyoduh minions who will say this is but one month of rough weather for the Camry. The problem is that Ford might have been the canary in the coal mine and now the infection of CUV/SUV that is spreading is now reaching the untouchables. And while there will be some time for the Camry and the Honduh Impala from hitting crisis, these cars will experience the same issues that made Ford bail. The problem is going to be with both Duh sisters, Hon and Toyo, that their CUV/SUV lineup is unremarkable beyond their usual two sellers. The lambasted Ford will have so many different flavors ahead of these that the Johnny Come Lately’s might actually be in deep trouble 24 months from now.

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    Wow, how the mighty have fallen. There was a time 22 years ago when Camry cost more and people would pay it. Long before changing tastes drove a stake in the heart of the midsize market, Toyota began losing its grip. Today the typical new car reliability is good, or at least good enough, that reliability alone is not enough. Not to mention those who were burned during the Malaise Era are a much smaller segment of the car buying population.

  • avatar
    VW4motion

    My local dealers are already advertising $3500 off Camry even before you step into the dealership.

  • avatar
    desmo21

    Some of the problem is the South East distributor. They control all the south east states. They have numerous packages that are mandatory. They are impossible to deal with.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    >>Toyota knows it has the most respected nameplate in the segment. <<

    That's a laugh..

    If Toyota knows that then it knows something that is untrue and Toyota should learn what the rest of America knows:

    The Honda Accord wins the awards and virtually every comparison test. And the Accord habitually outsells the fleet queen Camry where it matters – retail.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      This. But TTAC has always gotten on its knees at the altar of Toyota so at least they are consistent.

      When you look at retail sales, the correct answer is Honda Accord (although Honda does bury their fleetail numbers it is no where near Camry volume).

      The Camry has been the volume leader, in terms of total numbers, in rental fleet sales for years now – 60Kish units annually. The Altima has been the fleet queen leader in total percentage of vehicles that go to fleet.

      This is where the Toyota faithful argue that fleet is better than no sale – when a decade ago they would argue that fleet sales were the worst thing on the planet.

      The shame is the Camry from a driving dynamics stand point has gotten a lot better and with the low ATP is a bargain. This is more of an issue of changing tastes of buyers.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      Second in retail sales in an appliance segment. That is truly shameful, why would they even bother?

      Since you’re here, my inlaw with a 1.5T Accord wants to know if she can expect gasoline in her oil or if that’s just a 1.5T CR-V thing. Do you happen to know, thornmark? It’s OK if you don’t, the Fit engine coking escaped your attention as well.

      Granted, with the CVT it’s a genuine sport sedan and she knew there would be some level of additional maintenance needed for such a high performance car, but she kind of expected Honda-levels of quality as well and didn’t bother cross shopping anything else. Which means she’ll be back even if it does bite her. Honda owners, unlike Toyota owners, are absolutely not lemmings.

      • 0 avatar
        thornmark

        nice non sequitur

        btw, the Accord was rated better than German luxury sedans in a RT article not that long ago

        and appliance?, you’re an anachronism

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          “btw, the Accord was rated better than German luxury sedans in a RT article not that long ago”

          so what? the people writing for car mags spend anywhere from hours to a couple of days with a car. Their perspective is based on being given a car to play with for a bit, they’re not putting down their own money on a car they have to live with for 5-10 years.

          Auto “journalists\'” opinions have absolutely ZERO to do with what really matters to actual car buyers.

          • 0 avatar
            earthwateruser

            But the new Smegma3000 is light-years ahead of the now woefully outdated Smegma2999. It was really obvious after driving both cars back to back in Tuscany for 3 days. The 3000’s soft texture infotainment controls alone are worth trading in your crappy old 2999 with hard plastic buttons.

        • 0 avatar
          30-mile fetch

          No, she really wants to know about the gas in the oil, thornmark. Looks like GM-levels of quality to her but I assured her that the cars win magazine awards (real owners?) and are promoted by non sequitur comments all the time on forums.

          I figured that as their most aggressive fanatic around here you might actually know something useful about the vehicles, but it turns out you are the Honda analogue of Norm.

          Do you think the CVT can handle the power of a Trifecta tune? Talk about unseating the Germans.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            Sadly, this is the new normal for every car company that isn’t Toyota. It’s the idiot tax we’re paying for two-term Obama voters. Toyota had the Prius to keep its fleet average safe from science experiment transmissions and particulate-emitting direct injection for a couple more years than Honda’s. But the ever-tightening noose on our car market means they’re being forced to push garbage that they know won’t work for as long as the cars they sold a decade ago.

      • 0 avatar
        thornmark

        and didn’t Audi just announce one of their sport sedans would no long offer a manual – while the Accord does? The same Audi sport sedan the Accord beat in another mag’s test?

        • 0 avatar
          Nick_515

          thornmark, I drive an Audi again, and I can feel the inferiority complex getting hold in me when I see colleagues in Accords. They display a newfound je-ne-sais-quois, a joi-de-vivre you might say, no doubt driven by their superior car.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            The luxury of an A6, the speed of a Scat Pack, the build quality of an LX570, the style of a classic Maserati, the efficiency of a Prius, the handling of an Alfa Romeo, and the social respectability of a 1940s Buick.

            The perfection of the Accord is without question.

  • avatar
    TMA1

    There are so many curves and creases on this thing, it began aging terribly on day 2. Take a tip from Honda and tone it down a notch. To protect resale values, if nothing else.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      This photo highlights just how BAD of an idea that fake black vent on the rear bumper is. Looks like the car is already broken. One of the things I like about my new (to me, its actually used) C7 ‘Vette is all the vents are functional pieces.

  • avatar
    MatadorX

    Having just come back from a week/1100 miles in a rental ’18 LE, with 7k miles when I got it, I can’t say I am surprised sales are falling.

    Within an hour it was clear it was a new low for a Toyota product, really they ought to be ashamed.

    The 4 cylinder vibrates like a cheap 10 year old Kia off the line, starting off in high gear to save gas. Manual mode doesn’t improve things much but it proved a must on hills with 4 on board. Very clunky 8 speed auto, jerking the car when it selects the wrong gear. The entire steering wheel vibrates under even mild acceleration. I used to love renting the ’16/’17 LE/SE 2.5 Cammys, but this ’18 makes me want to request an Altima next time. Huge step down from the old model drive-train wise.

    Sad you can’t option up a V6 in the lower trims like the days of old. I feel the 300hp smooth 6-cyl mill would solve all the issues. However for the 40k OTD a V6 costs, much much better cars exist (CPO GS350 anyone-if you can find one) And for the economy minded, just get the hybrid. Why the 4 cyl exists at all when it is so incredibly unrefined and unsatisfying to drive is beyond me.

    And let’s not even get started on no Apple Car Play or Android Auto. Half the millennials I know wouldn’t even consider this thing without it, and they are by and large sedan buyers. The center display is a joke. Flashy youth oriented styling, even more uninspiring driving dynamics than usual by Toyota standards, and no modern tech. In a segment loosing buyers by the day, yep a winning formula.

    I was thrilled to get back in my 195k ’00 LE V6 5MT at the end of the trip.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      I’m going to need to try one of these out next time I’m in for an oil change. Though the auto press has been far more complimentary than for prior generations, other opinions are all over the place on this car.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      FWIW, in defense of Toyota (no really), the rental spec stripper LE models are just – awful. We had a stripper 2017 RAV-4 LE FWD and it was dreadful, awful, horrid. In higher trims the short comings are addressed.

      $40K sticker loaded? Yikes! That’s Buick LaCrosse Premium model money before cash on the hood.

    • 0 avatar
      VW4motion

      In a nutshell maybe some people do not want to purchase a rental car. It’s really hard right now to rent a sedan with it not being a Toyota product. Most dominant rental car today is the Camry.
      It is also overpriced in the higher trim models. $37,000 was on a few sticker prices at my local dealer.

    • 0 avatar
      DearS

      I really like my Camry 2018 rental I had for a week. It was quite and great to have the radar cruse control. I would buy it when the price gets to 50% msrp :)

  • avatar
    ajla

    If I was shopping in this segment the Camry XSE V6 and Passat GT would be my top two picks.

    Unfortunately for Toyota and VW, other segments exist.

  • avatar

    One reason Toyota may be losing to Honda is that they are the only automaker that still does not include Android Auto making its Etunes system seem a little dated. Toyota has started to include Apple CarPlay in a few 2019 models. Also, the center screen is a little too low. Honda puts up higher. Even the Honda Civic has sold a few more units than the Toyota Corolla.

  • avatar
    ernest

    You can spin this however you want- but consider this. Last year, at this time, the Camry outsold the Accord in the US by a paltry 16000 units. New model year… new designs… and the Camry outsold the Accord by 41,000 units, YTD. The Camry won the redesign competition- pure and simple. Numbers don’t lie- everything else is just opinion.

    http://www.goodcarbadcar.net/2018/07/midsize-car-sales-in-america-june-2018/

    My theory is the new Accord is a great car… if you’re an automotive journalist or enthusiast. Neither of whom are the target market in the mid sized family sedan market. Just ask Mazda how marketing a car towards that niche buyer is working for them.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Camry is the fleet sales leader when it comes to total units (not percentage). The Accord is barely a blip. When it comes to retail sales, the sales that really matter, the Accord has been the best seller in the US for years.

      • 0 avatar
        ernest

        Like I said- spin it however you want. The numbers don’t lie. Our Hertz Fleet was loaded with Mercedes Benz product… so obviously BMW was outselling them on the retail market… right? (Not). Anecdotally, I hardly ever see a new Accord in the wild. I just came back from a 500 mi drive up to the Canadian border. New Civics… everywhere. TWO new Accords, one in Seattle, one in Bellingham with Canadian plates.

        The actual numbers just confirm what I see.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        anecdotal, but over time I’ve had several Toyota rental vehicles (Camry and a couple of CR-Vs) while never had any Honda rentals.

        Matter of fact, I can’t recall seeing many (if any!) Hondas on the lot.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        “When it comes to retail sales, the sales that really matter, the Accord has been the best seller in the US for years”

        Sales that matter? Matter to who? It’s a commodity, you sell it to a consumer. Outside that, it matters to people with two inexplicable tribalistic maladies: those with a Toyota chip on their shoulder who need something to throw out there on the forums, and those who need to believe that a $23K Accord is a prestigious vehicle.

    • 0 avatar
      xtoyota

      Don’t mention it but Toyota advertises more and discounts car more with finance programs and lease deals…… Honda nothing to talk about…..

  • avatar

    $1500? I am not impressed. Give me $5000 and I may consider test drive. Being behind the wheel of such an ugly car requires serious compensation.

  • avatar
    Superdessucke

    Good. This could provide the spark that we need to revitalize the segment and send the CUV into the anals of history. And no, that’s not a misspelling.

  • avatar
    rnc

    I have an observation about sedans/CUV’s…When my wife and I bought our Pilots (3 years apart). Both times there were lots of people looking at CRVs and Pilots (heck even the minivans), both times the Accord/Civic section looked like a ghost town, both times the sales person kept trying to drive the damn golf cart over to that section telling us about the great prices, etc., etc.

    If this is how it is for Honda, then Ford’s decision makes perfect sense.

    The CUV monster is coming for the Camry and Accord as well.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    As legions of people left the Big 3 to buy Toyota/Honda the thriftiest from this legion went to Hyundai/ Kia. 50 years ago they’d have bought an Impala/LTD; now they buy Korean. H/K became H/T’s problem.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • Fordson: Some makes just should never produce SUVs…this is one of them. Look at the Maserati car in the group...
  • FreedMike: Toyota. Why do you think they haven’t invested in EVs?
  • redapple: Who will buy Tesla? GGM?
  • forward_look: Once I bought a ’74 (?) Colt/Mitsubishi for $100 that had the strut towers rusted out. I welded...
  • thelaine: Tick tock

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributors

  • Timothy Cain, Canada
  • Matthew Guy, Canada
  • Ronnie Schreiber, United States
  • Bozi Tatarevic, United States
  • Chris Tonn, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States
  • Mark Baruth, United States
  • Moderators

  • Adam Tonge, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States