The 2015 Toyota Camry Wants to Be Just as Popular, Not as Boring
It’s hard to overestimate the importance of the boring old Toyota (7203:JP) Camry. Last year, Toyota sold about 408,000 Camrys in North America—the biggest share of the biggest category (midsize cars). Honda (HMC), by comparison, sold 365,000 of its Accord, the next closest model in the group.
Car engineers in general are paying more attention to design, and Camry competitors such as the Ford (F) Fusion and the Nissan (7201:JP) Altima have earned praise for being less boring (which is a lot to ask of a sedan). The Camry, last overhauled for the 2011 model year, just got another face-lift. The 2015 model it unveiled at the New York Auto Show this week was an ambitious (and no doubt expensive) upgrade. We cornered John Krafcik, a former chief executive of Hyundai (530:KS) North America, and asked him to walk us around the new Camry and point out the most notable changes. Here’s what caught his eye:
Overall impression: “They’ve gone bolder at a time when some of their competitors have decided to smooth things out and kind of quiet things down. It’s fascinating to see that dynamic. … I think it’s great from a design-trajectory standpoint.”