We've been watching for some time now as Toyota has piled more incentives on the hood of its Camry sedan, and Automotive News reports that the we're not the only ones with raised eyebrows. The current Camry hasn't even been on the market for two years, but the family sedan segment is more hotly contested than it has been in years. It's that high level of competition that has led the automaker to uncharacteristically add more money on the hood in order to assure it maintains its long-held title of America's Best-Selling Car, a mantle it has owned for a dozen years. It's ramping up fleet sales, too.

According to the analysts at TrueCar, Toyota has bumped incentives per unit every month this year, now totaling some $2,750 as of May, a 38-percent hike over this time last year. That's more spiff money than the segment's other best sellers, the Nissan Altima ($2,400), Ford Fusion ($2,300) and Honda Accord ($1,400), all of whom have actually decreased their incentive spend by 20- to 40-percent over the same period.

The ramp up in incentive spending and fleet sales has analysts concerned that Toyota will tarnish the Camry's historically sterling resale value. ALG pegs the 2013 Camry's current 36-month residual value at 54.4 percent, well ahead of the segment average's 50.9 percent (but shy of the Accord's 55.6 percent). However, analysts are concerned that as the current generation ages, their resale values will eventually plummet if incentives continue to increase as Toyota looks to keep the Camry's best-selling car crown going forward.

Automotive News cites R.L. Polk data in noting that many of the family sedan segment's heavyweights are running above 30-percent fleet sales, including the Altima, Fusion and Chevrolet Malibu, while the Camry is expected to finish the year under 15 percent. Even so, Camry sales to fleets are ahead of this time last year (despite 2012's numbers having sizable catch-up sales after 2011's tsunami-tightened supplies). Honda has long touted its low fleet sale percentage, and the new Accord is no different – its fleet sales sit at 1 percent.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 200 Comments
      Max Bramante
      • 1 Year Ago
      Same thing for VW in EU: The Golf 7 remain the best selling car in EU but they're giving lots of incentives cuz the car is too similar to the previously Golf and people getting tired of the same design, same thing for the Camry wich remain a very pleasant sedan especially in the SE version but not exactly exciting. Look at the Avalon 2013, they did a revolution and the sales are flying as never before. They should do the same with the next Camry.
      Cruising
      • 1 Year Ago
      I liked the way the previous Camry looked it was more flowing design, this one is all boxy and edgy like a Scion.
        ishmaelcrowley
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Cruising
        Totally agree. Previous generation Camry was much better looking. Probably best looking Camry ever. (If that's not an oxymoron.)
      That Guy
      • 1 Year Ago
      Wow, it's like Ford and Toyota are twins. They both make dull, trouble prone appliances and use fleet sales to keep sales crowns.
      zoom_zoom_zoom
      • 1 Year Ago
      LOL at Ford saying they can't build the Fusion fast enough to meet demand, yet they piling on the cast to sell them, 1 out of 3 is going to a fleet customer . . .
        Corey Heim
        • 1 Year Ago
        @zoom_zoom_zoom
        Given how intelligent you appear to be, I'm sure you can explain (without resorting to the "rental cars suck" strawman) why fleet sales are so terrible. You DO realize that "fleet sales" is an all-encompassing term, which includes sales to governments and corporations, not JUST beat 'em up and throw 'em away rentals....RIGHT? And you realize that governments and corporations TEND to not beat 'em up and throw 'em away like rentals...and that those fleet sales tend to be reasonably profitable....RIGHT?
          David MacGillis
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Corey Heim
          Corey, Fleet sales are almost universally low-margin sales that come back to haunt the current product in 12-18 months when they leave those fleets and show up right next to the new cars that look exactly the same but cost 40% more.
          Dean Hammond
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Corey Heim
          David...thats a fundamentally flawed opinion thats not very accurate....Fleet companies are keeping their vehicles longer now than they ever have before, and when the cars DO come back, mileage is such that they dont effect reasle in the slightest....at that point they are deemed pretty much disposable.
          zoom_zoom_zoom
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Corey Heim
          oh lord, and caryonomo1701 thinks he's reading my mind. Well, a stupid ass xenophobe like you. . . .
          zoom_zoom_zoom
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Corey Heim
          No such thing as GOOD Fleet sales. Only reason to sell low profit cars to fleet, if you can't get retail customers to shop your show room. Also, if your product is in short supply as FORD CLAIMS, why on earth would Ford just for the fun of it give the customers free$2300 in cash on the hood?
          Dean Hammond
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Corey Heim
          thankyou Corey...most educated post so far....one question, where the HELL are the journalists coming up with $2300, here is So Cal its $1500 retail on SES, $1000 on hybrids...56m is a mere $1000......are we perhaps witnessing artistic licence for people like zoom- zoom to feast on...LMAO!?....
          zoom_zoom_zoom
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Corey Heim
          Corey, WHERE DID I SAY ANYTHING ABOUT RENTAL CARS?
          Corey Heim
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Corey Heim
          Dean, it's average. Also, "incentives" include everything--not just cash...so offers like for 0 for 60 is an incentive that costs Ford money--Ford has to pay Ford Credit the difference between the incentive rate and (at a minimum) Ford Credit's cost of the capital itself (just to break Ford Credit even). Ford might even have to pay the difference between the incentive rate and the rate Ford Credit would have charged that customer without an incentive. Plus, you have subvented leases, etc. And, CA is a VERY hot market for Ford in generally right now--Ford's selling better in CA that it pretty much ever has, so there, the need for incentives is reduced. In other areas, where wages might be down, unemployment is up, etc...Ford has to more heavily incentivize sales. So the AVERAGE can be easily be $2300. The bigger point(s) is (are): Ford's avg incentive is lower than Toyota's on the Camry and the incentive is lower than their historical average. (Keep in mind: I bought my 09 Fusion in March 2009 and got $3500 cash back!
          Corey Heim
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Corey Heim
          Zoom, Fleet sales include sales to rental car companies, corporations, governments, hell even 2 cars to Tom and Dicks Carpentry. Are you daft or obtuse? Dean, I get what you're saying, but again, incentives are relative. $2300 just isn't that high.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Corey Heim
          [blocked]
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Corey Heim
          [blocked]
          Dean Hammond
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Corey Heim
          Zoom, once again your comprehension defies explanation....please read some posts outling good and bad fleet....
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Corey Heim
          [blocked]
          Dean Hammond
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Corey Heim
          Corey, still find it somwhat misleading given that Fleet companies 99% of the time pay cash, so subveened leased and subsidized interest rates become a non factor....the 56m Fleet incentive on fusions is but $1000..............
        • 1 Year Ago
        @zoom_zoom_zoom
        [blocked]
          zoom_zoom_zoom
          • 1 Year Ago
          Damn you stupid TROLL, Can you not READ. OR, can you not do math. If 34% of the Fusions are going to fleet, the 1 out of every three are going to fleets. No wonder you live in your mom Teresa's basement at 26, playing video games all day instead of working.
          • 1 Year Ago
          [blocked]
          • 1 Year Ago
          [blocked]
        789dm
        • 1 Year Ago
        @zoom_zoom_zoom
        I saw the new ford fusion around Astoria NY as a sanitation car I was like WTF? Do they need such a good looking cars for sanitation dept? And of course NYPD also have older Fusion and Volts in their fleet.
      zoom_zoom_zoom
      • 1 Year Ago
      Based on the arguments by the Ford fanboies, it appears the Fusion was designed to fill Government Fleets duty. Too bad Ford can't get Retail customers to buy one without putting thousands on the hood. Guess that argument by Ford they can't build enough was all smoke and mirrors. Why would ANY company that can't build product fast enough put cash on the hood?
        Dean Hammond
        • 1 Year Ago
        @zoom_zoom_zoom
        how much on the hood zoom? youve still not answered my question....and FYI, the Goverment and large Fleet companies are given a list of vehicles, not just one choice...Im not going to apologize if they choose Fords.....obviously you have no grasp of the intricacies of \"fleet\" sales....its actually pretty good business...AND profitable...
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Dean Hammond
          [blocked]
          zoom_zoom_zoom
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Dean Hammond
          LOL, Poor Merlot Hammond has reading comprehension problems. The original article states the exact numbers. The Fusion needs $2300 cash on the hood to get retail customers to purchase. 34% are going to government agencies and rental car companies.
          zoom_zoom_zoom
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Dean Hammond
          OMG, caryonmo1701 has been here downvoting MULTIPLE TIMES. Poor Micheal Spadaro, It's time your mom kick you out of her basement and force you to get a job. Don't you think at 26 years old you should quit playing video games all day in your mom's basement.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Dean Hammond
          [blocked]
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Dean Hammond
          [blocked]
        comintheusa
        • 1 Year Ago
        @zoom_zoom_zoom
        "Why would ANY company that can't build product fast enough put cash on the hood?" Probably because the consumer expects some sort of discount? As to Ford's claims it can't build them fast enough, try visiting a Ford dealer. Recently I did exactly that, and after driving past rows of shiny new F150's I finally found the Fusions - all six of them. Ford's new Fusion plant at Flat Rock, Michigan can't come on line soon enough. When it does, Ford should have the capacity to build 400,000 Fusions a year. When that happens, Ford will own the mid-sized sales crown once again, a welcome victory of attractive design over Asian blandness.
          Dean Hammond
          • 1 Year Ago
          @comintheusa
          from what i have heard, their objective is NOT to outsell everyone, being #1 is not paramount....that said dealers are SCREAMING for more inventory, so I think additional production is to appese the dealer base...I think the popularity of the car was under-estimated....sure winds people like Zoom zoom zoom and That Guy up though.....lolsorry thay are doing so well guys.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @comintheusa
          [blocked]
          Dean Hammond
          • 1 Year Ago
          @comintheusa
          zoom....do you know what higher ATPs means?.....WOW, you and Carlotta must be eating from the same stupid cake....
        Dean Hammond
        • 1 Year Ago
        @zoom_zoom_zoom
        that comment smacks of nothing more tha actual jealousy...FUNNY!
          zoom_zoom_zoom
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Dean Hammond
          So who do you think is Jealous. You appear to be defending Ford by spinning out of control trying to do damage control. Do you think most car companies are jealous of all that cash on the hood Ford needs to move the metal. Do you think most car companies are jealous of the low profits government and rental Fusions?
      Jasonn
      • 1 Year Ago
      People that always complain about the camry being boring need to stop, look around, and think, "Is anything else in this midsize sedan market not boring?" Its a clear and resounding, No. Nothing about the midsize sedan market is exciting. It never has been and it never will be because people buying the midsize sedan don't want exciting driving. They want something that isn't tiny to get them from point A to point B safely, efficantley, and reliably. Imo the only thing in this market that comes close to exciting is the Subaru Legacy with its AWD.
        Alex Rodriguez MacFa
        @Jasonn
        To make this statement, you must be a teenager that has ferrari and lambo posters all over your living room. Granted, mid-sized sedans are not meant to be exciting but that doesn't mean they can't be. The Ford Fusion is a game changer. It looks hotter than the new bimmer 3 (I said it looks, not drives). The Fusion is only an SVT model away from being the most exciting family sedan ever. The new Passat it might look bland but it drives pretty well for a family sedan and I'm pretty sure they will come up with an R-line version with tighter suspension. The rest of the line-up of family sedans looks very nice. I think the Altima looks like an Infiniti. The Optima like an Audi. Believe me, whenever I get married and have kids, I certainly wouldn't mind driving these family sedans compared to the offerings of 15, 10 or even 5 years ago!!
          superchan7
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Alex Rodriguez MacFa
          I don't see what's wrong with his statement. It reflects the mentality of typical buyers to the dot. So when I buy a car that will typically be driven by the femme, I likely won't consider the Fusion (long-term reliability, weird ergonomics and inconsistent build). The Mazda6 is a looker and is sporty, but we'll see if the car is roomy enough. The Camry is not much of a value and doesn't stand out in any way, but I can see how its old tech doesn't leave much room for any reliability problems. People like that. The new Passat may drive well and sing a song of American labour, but I've been burned by a German-made Passat before. Nissan's interiors do not interest me, but they do have a good selling point in their CVTs. That leaves the Mazda6 and the Accord as the only models without a significant known downside. In summary, looks help and hurt, but they're far from the priority.
          Alex Rodriguez MacFa
          @Alex Rodriguez MacFa
          @superchan7 Obviously you are going to be left wanting more in this segment. That's why the luxury brands exist. You can't have everything and expect to pay little. By your statement, I'm assuming you'd want a family sedan with super reliability, excellent fit and finish, 400 hp with 40 mpg, race car handling, envy/head turner exterior design, Audi/Bentley interior, limo back seating, 3,000 lbs curb weight, build your own ergonomics and a price of around $30K....did I leave anything out? Like i said, the segment is much better today than it was 5 years ago. Much better, and this is only the beginning thanks to the Fusion. Again, family sedans, were not meant to be exciting but that doesn't mean they can't be.
      jps0429
      • 1 Year Ago
      I don't know who in their right mind would buy a Toyota Camry
        ZOZ
        • 1 Year Ago
        @jps0429
        The people who -regardless of performance- want to buy a car for 1 year usage and then sell it with a goo resale value. Let me see, like the fleet companies!
      carlotta
      • 1 Year Ago
      Ford claimed the Fusion was hot and in short supply. Looks like the HUGE incentives and HUGE fleet sales put the lie to that. "Ford Fusion 34% fleet sales". Story may have been about the Camry but the Fusion is new and looking even more desperate for sales.
        merlot066
        • 1 Year Ago
        @carlotta
        34% is normal in the midsize segment. Taking actual quotes from the article "many of the family sedan segment's heavyweights are running above 30-percent fleet sales". Ford is an American company, thus government agencies purchase Fusions for government fleets and American companies like Johnson and Johnson generally stock their commercial fleets with cars from other American companies. Ford's fleet sales are slowly going down while Toyota's are quickly skyrocketing. Japanese cars have almost no government or commercial fleet sales in the US, so when the Altima has 30%+ fleet sales, the Mazda 6 has over 40% fleet sales, and the Mitsubishi Galant has over 60% fleet sales, they're almost all going to rental lots and that's a problem.
          merlot066
          • 1 Year Ago
          @merlot066
          1) The North American Free Trade Agreement ensures a fair and balanced flow of goods between the United States, Mexico, and Canada. We keep up our end of the agreement by buying vehicles like the Ford Edge and Fusion (and other goods) from Canada/Mexico and they reciprocate by buying vehicles like the Ford Explorer (and other goods) from the US. Japan is one of the most poorly balanced trade partners the United States has. How many cars do we export from the US to Japan? How many Priuses, Scions, Lexuses do we import from Japan? 2) Stop voting yourself up, you look like an idiot. 3) Stop using multiple accounts, you look like an idiot.
      Rob
      • 1 Year Ago
      Great car for a taxi company and for granny and gramps
        789dm
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Rob
        Yes its true. Small car service companies all around Triboro use Camry or Avalon as their limo.
      The Wasp
      • 1 Year Ago
      I don't know why Honda would tout their low fleet sales for the Accord. It's like they're saying "we couldn't sell this car to fleet managers to save our lives!".
        m_2012
        • 1 Year Ago
        @The Wasp
        They focus on where you sell real cars - retail. Cars that are "fleet" cars typically are not appealing to mass market - Camry.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @The Wasp
        [blocked]
      carlotta
      • 1 Year Ago
      Last year the Fusion was #3 in sales. This year with a redesign and massive fleet sales and massive incentives it is ....... #4. Fusion FLOP-eroo!
        merlot066
        • 1 Year Ago
        @carlotta
        I think what you meant to say is that after Ford fixed the inventory issues which adversely affected sales for several months, the Fusion has been able to break sales records multiple times despite the drastically changed landscape marked by multiple new/redesigned sedans, decreased fleet sales, and increased incentive spending by competitors. Fixed that for you.
          zoom_zoom_zoom
          • 1 Year Ago
          @merlot066
          Damn Dean, Fusion is still sending 1 of 3 Fusions to Fleet, And spending $2300 per Fusion just to get shopper interested. HOW BAD WAS THE PREVIOUS FUSION DOING?
          merlot066
          • 1 Year Ago
          @merlot066
          I've answered and explained all of your questions. Please learn to read, read, then re-read my post. Perhaps try logging in as Scion_tc and read it under that alias. Perhaps that will help you understand it better.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @merlot066
          [blocked]
        express2day
        • 1 Year Ago
        @carlotta
        Calendar year to date sales through May: Ford Fusion - up 22% Nissan Altima - up 4% Toyota Camry - down 6% Chevrolet Malibu - down 18% A lot of companies wish they could have as much of a "flop" as the Fusion! Also, Fusion sales are higher with 35% less incentive spending....another plus. You have a weird definition of "flop."
      Master Austin
      • 1 Year Ago
      Another product where Toyota arrogantly has depended on it's past perception, instead of addressing it's short coming. Toyota did less on this newly "redesigned" Camry, than other automakers have done with a "mid-cycle refresh" and again it's been caught with it's pants down (the Corolla with the 28 year old transmission is another). The competition is producing more technologically advanced, reliable and stylish entries and peoples pocketbooks are voting for it. In other news, the Fusion factories are running overtime and couldn't even produce more than 300K units if it wanted to so don't expect the Fusion to be gunning for the crown.
        carlotta
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Master Austin
        Do the rental agencies need all those Fusions?
        Dean Hammond
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Master Austin
        Arogance perhaps...I would point more at complacency and fear that if they CHANGED the Canry dramatically, the loyalists whom fear their own shadow . would perhaps entertain something other than their FIFTH Camry. People DONT like change...and the camry fits their bill all too well. As much as I beleive fords on a roll with the Fusion, my biggest wish is they actually SLOW down and adress new releases hiccups before they release their vehicle carte blanche. Although those issues have obviously been adressed, its my beleif they never should have happened in the first place and may have perhaps been reflective of a rushed introduction.....
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