Toyota isn’t letting anything short of the wrath of God get in the way of its North American expansion plans. And even then, the Japanese giant is still only considering those sorts of setbacks to be minor roadbumps.
At its national dealers meeting in Las Vegas that pulled in representatives from each of its 1223 U.S. dealers, Toyota introduced its strategy to unveil the next-generation, 2012 Toyota Camry due this fall that will use more than 40 new commercials to help keep customers in the best-selling car in the nation. Scheduled to start airing in October, the ads will try to rouse interest in Japan’s largest automaker that has been off its pace since the March 11 earthquakes that shut down suppliers and shuttered plants.
Through May, Toyota sold 126,094 Camrys — still top among cars sold in the U.S. despite the supply shortages — but year-over-year growth remains stagnant, a trend Toyota hopes to buck with the new midsizer. Toyota has sold roughly 702,000 cars in the U.S. through May, and company President Akio Toyoda said his goal is still to push the brand over the 2 million-car hurdle.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Toyota isn’t just relying on the Camry to pull all of the company’s weight as it also plans to introduce 19 other new or revised cars over the next two years. Some models that Toyota talked about include the Prius v and c hybrids, the Camry Hybrid, new RAV4 EV, and Scion iQ subcompact. At the meeting, Toyota also confirmed that it will be introducing its Entune infotainment and phone integration system in the new Camry and Prius v.
While it has struggled with setbacks, Toyota has done remarkably well coping with the disasters. As of June, eight of its 12 plants in the U.S. were running at regular capacity again, and the carmaker says its Tacoma and Tundra pickup trucks, RAV4, and Lexus RX luxury crossover will be back to snuff by the beginning of September. Further, Toyota expects that all of its Japanese plants will be back to normal by the end of July.
In the face of recalls followed by disaster followed the announcement this week that it would be recalling 82,200 hybrid SUVs due to possible faulty electronics, Toyota hasn’t gotten much of a break these days. While the giant took quite a fall, it looks like it’s starting to stand back up.
Sources: WSJ via Automotive News (Subscription required), Toyota