• Mar 27, 2006
The Toyota Camry is one of the most successful cars in the U.S., having outsold all other sedans since 1997. But can it sustain its crown? Ted Evanoff of the Indianapolis Star writes that the vehicle may be suffering an image problem.

"Younger people see the Camry as an older person's car,'' says Art Spinella, an automotive analysts. "It certainly isn't a youth-market vehicle. That's really Toyota's core problem.''

The average age of Camry buyers is 52, ten years higher than buyers of the Honda Accord and Nissan Altima. Worse, the world's second largest automaker is facing new rivals such as Hyundai, Kia and future ones like the Chinese automakers. Toyota has General Motor's Buick brand as an example of what can happen when a particular brand's reputation falls. However, states Spinella, "The difference between what Detroit goes through and what Toyota goes through is that for every single problem Toyota has, they put a team on to fix it. Detroit pretends it doesn't exist.''

The revamped Camry is part of Toyota's strategy to 'fix' the sedan's reputation (and sales). Yet, at the same time, the automaker continues to appeal to the younger market with its Scion division and more non-traditional vehicles like the FJ Cruiser. The company's management figures that eventually such buyers will trade up to a Camry, perhaps when they're 52.

[Source: Indianapolis Star]


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 86 Comments
      Doris Beatty
      • 8 Years Ago
      I consider the Camry a "conservative" car. I have had many Toyotas, from the Celica to the Corolla. My recent purchase was a Rav4 and I love the style and sporty feeling. I am 71 years old and it suits me fine
      • 8 Years Ago
      I've owned my Camry for 7 months now. Purchased from a 80-something, the original owner. Dependable, not necessarily "cool," but practical. You know, just like people, it is what is on the inside that counts in the long run...we have always owned Chevys also, but our 2000 Impala (purchased new) has given us its fair share of significant problems (namely, tranny). I like my 1993 Camry! You want to hear something else?! My 19-year-old son owns a 1990 Chrysler New Yorker Landau (now there is a geezermobile!) purchased from our 71-year old neighbor's 92-year-old mother. That car is the most reliable vehicle!! Not one problem in the year and a half he has owned it. Just picture a 19-year-old, driving THE SPEED LIMIT, blaring Christian rock with the windows down...
      • 8 Years Ago
      I have never liked Toyot'a vehicles. My grandmother used to drive a Cressida in the 70's and then a Camry in the 80's. But...if the Camry, who's sales have increased year to year 2003-2005, and if the average buyer age is 52, that means there MUST be a LARGE 52+ market out there. Where is the problem Toyota needs to fix? I don't see it. If the market is screaming for a younger Toyota sedan then maybe Toyota needs to bring a new model to market or revamp a model that isn't selling so well -not piss on its own feet by "fixing" something that already works very well. Who gives a crap how old they buyer is?
      • 8 Years Ago
      "6. It's been the conservative stodgy middle-to-older-age folk's car for some time. I avoid them like the plague because they are usually not only slow, but seem to have a complete lack of understanding about driving etiquette or rules of the road.

      With only a few exceptions I can say that many Camry drivers appear to be less imaginative, decisive, and less physically active than Accord or Altima drivers.

      Beige cars, beige thoughts, beige world. Bland! That's Camry!

      Posted at 8:13PM on Mar 27th 2006 by veregrrl 0 stars"

      Wow. I completely agree.

      Marry me.
      • 8 Years Ago
      You all must get over yourselves! I have owned a Camry since 1992 and have close to 200,000 miles on it. It has been the most reliable, wonderful car I ever owned. Gets me from point A to point B with no problems. Who cares if it is beige or green? It runs well and lasts.
      Why would you identify yourself so closely to a car? Who cares as long as it serves it's purpose with little or no problems. It is a machine for goodness sake. How shallow are you all?
      The camry is a wonderful car and I would buy one again...as soon as this one dies...and it doesn't look like it will any time soon.
      • 8 Years Ago
      The Lumina was perhaps the most pathetic attempt to counter the Accord/Camry in history. How could anyone use that as a shining example of how the imports are overated?

      I have a mint condition 97 Accord Sedan in my garage, and it is more up to date, and modern, than a current edition of the Malibu or Impala. Its 2006 and the 97 Accord has a better interior compared to any GM and Ford products.
      • 8 Years Ago
      #20- Yes the Camry is an Old folks car. I don't know about #-14, but I will tell you I have owned everything from Chevy's to Mercedes. GM makes great products, Toyota and Honda are overated and my personal pick of all is the Caddilac STS. Just because the media calls the foreign makes wonderful doesn't mean it's true....... By the way calling someone a moron either means you still wet behind the ears or a half-wit.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "own 3 Chevies, one is a '94 pickup with nearly 200K on the clock, one is a 2004 Trailblazer and one is a 2006 Impala. Beats any Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Hundai and Kia every which a way."

      Thanks for the hearty laugh man, that was classic!

      An ignorant domestic car loyalist is always good for a chuckle. Or a sad shake of the head...
      Arnie
      • 8 Years Ago
      Well I have a 2004 Solara 2 dr version of the Camry for those not familiar...yes I am 57...so far I have had it up to 140 mph with room to spare but ran out of straight road...also beat a new BMW M3 not once but twice off the line in manual mode. Know a number of young people that own Solara's and it is one awesome car that also get's great gas mileage ///averaging 26.9 all around and easily get 32 - 35 on the highway at 70 mph. This is my first import (although it is made in the good old USA) having owned mustangs, chevies, lincoln's (Mark 7) and Towncars. All good car's but this one has been a real charmer...criticize all you want but the Camry is a great value and a solid car...guess old folks have already made their share of mistakes buying junk...BTW my 22 year old just bought a Mazda 3 4 door for 20K. Basically a baby version of the Camry for a few thousand less...what difference does it make as long as you are happy driving what you have?
      • 8 Years Ago
      Mentioned this on a previous comment - someone has to bring down the averages:

      Miata purchased age 27 (daily driver)
      Camry purchased age 32 (prior kidmobile, now wife's daily driver)
      Sienna purchased age 35 (kidmobile)

      /premature geezer
      • 8 Years Ago
      Yes the Camary is a nice ride. But I also agree that it is a old persons car. Toyota really needs to make this car a stylish car. I have a camary and everyone ask why I darive an older persons Vech. It's reliable and I haven't had any problems with this vech. But i wont buy another Toyota. I'm shooping for vech.'s at the moment and I won't consider a Toyota Camary again until they make it stylish.
      • 8 Years Ago
      It's been the conservative stodgy middle-to-older-age folk's car for some time. I avoid them like the plague because they are usually not only slow, but seem to have a complete lack of understanding about driving etiquette or rules of the road.

      With only a few exceptions I can say that many Camry drivers appear to be less imaginative, decisive, and less physically active than Accord or Altima drivers.

      Beige cars, beige thoughts, beige world. Bland! That's Camry!
    • Load More Comments