Facelifted Toyota Camry India launch by 2012

Toyota’s luxury sedan, the Camry will get a face-lift this year and will likely be launched this October in the US. Hence we can expect the car to hit the Indian market by early 2012.

“We haven’t announced the next-gen Camry, (but) I will tell you (the current) Camry is very close to the end of its lifecycle, and a fall (September to November) introduction is a pretty good educated guess, ” Bob Carter, Group VP, GM –Toyota division, was quoted as saying by Wards Auto.

The face-lift is quite obvious as it is based on Toyota’s strategy to revamp all its cars every five years. The last time when the Camry was launched with upgrades was in 2006 and hence, the new model is due this year.

In the US market, Toyota sells the sixth-generation Camry which debuted in March 2006. In recent times, sales of the Camry have not increased as much as its Korean rivals, Hyundai Sonata and Kia Optima. Also read: Toyota Etios MPV rumours

toyota camry india
Photo: Present Toyota Camry Luxury Sedan

According to Ward’s data, Camry’s sales in April 2011 registered only 11.1% growth while Sonata sales increased by 46.4% and Optima’s sales grew by 81.4% (Honda Accord’s sales dipped by 0.5%). The reason for the Camry’s slow sales growth could be the fact that Korean car makers revamp their cars every four years. The Sonata and Optima are fresher models when compared to the Camry and Accord.

Back in India, Toyota Camry sales have not been that impressive when compared to its rivals such as the Skoda Superb and the recently launched Volkswagen Passat. In 2010, Toyota Camry clocked a meagre 558 unit in sales (52.50% sales growth as against sales in 2009) while Skoda sold 4,164 units of Superb (31.40% hike), Honda sold 2,446 units of Accord (11.80% sales drop) and Volkswagen sold 660 units (28.20% increase) of the Passat during the same period. Also read: New Corolla Altis to likely launch in June 2011

The availability of seemingly more prestigious brands such as BMW and Benz has been one of the key reasons for a decline in the Toyota Camry’s sales. Currently, Toyota Camry is offered in two trim levels the W1 Manual priced at Rs.24.60 lakhs and W2 Automatic priced at Rs.26.44 lakhs.

Some highlights of the current Camry’s exterior include futuristic HID headlamps, retractable headlight washer, imposing front bumper, rear combination lamps, aero wiper blades and new sporty 16 inch alloy wheels.

The interiors of the Camry feature an Optitron meter that shows average speed fuel economy and cruising range, dot-type MID (Multi-information display), steering wheel controls, 6 CD changer, Aux-in port, 60:40 split seats. It also sports Auto Light Control which switches on the headlamp automatically when the ambient light intensity falls below the threshold value.

The advanced features of the Camry includes rain sensing wipers, 8-way power driver seat, 4-way power passenger seat, dual zone AC and rear AC vents.

With regard to safety, the Camry has Vehicle Stability Control, ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) with EBD (Electronic Brake force Distribution), Brake Assist, 6 SRS airbags, seat belt pre-tensioner and force limiter, Head impact protection, Whiplash Injury Lessening and Pedestrian injury reduction structure.

The new Camry may retain some of the current model’s USPs such as spacious cabin, but will have to be loaded with many more advanced features as offered by other car models in its segment, so as to sell in more numbers.