Revenge of the Sedan: Camry May Regain U.S. Sales Lead Over RAV4

A Toyota Camry on display in Tokyo on Aug. 1, 2017.

Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg

Sport utility vehicles have become the new family car, but don’t count out sedans just yet.

Although demand for the once popular vehicle segment has been on the decline, some individual midsize car models are having a moment. Toyota Motor Corp.’s new Camry is seeing a resurgence, for example, and may become the namesake brand’s top model, said Augusto Amorim, manager of North America sales forecasting for LMC Automotive.

“It’s a very important product for Toyota, so they invested a lot of money and really redesigned it to try to increase the appeal of the Camry,’’ he said Thursday on the sidelines of a conference in Birmingham, Michigan. “It has the potential to go back and sell more than RAV4 again.”

The Camry is the fourth-best selling U.S. vehicle this year, excluding full-size pickups, according to researcher Autodata Corp. The comeback car is fewer than 30,000 units behind the RAV4, which is ahead of all other SUVs and sedans. While Camry sales in the U.S. this year are down about 5 percent, deliveries have risen more than 10 percent the last two months since the new version reached the market, Amorim said. LMC forecasts Camry sales reaching 410,000 next year -- 20,000 more than the entire Volkswagen brand.

Rival Honda Motor Co.’s Civic is the only other car keeping up with the top SUVs in the U.S. this year. In all, automakers will sell more cars in the U.S. than total vehicle sales in Canada and Mexico combined through at least 2022, Amorim said.

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