Cars making a comeback, Camry leading the way

Automotive News is reporting that the 2007 Toyota Camry could be the first car to break 450,000 sales in one year since the Chevy Impala did it back in 1978. That is, if Toyota's production capacity can meet the challenge. Currently there are reports of people following car carriers with Camrys right to the dealership and Toyota is dealing with a short 10-day supply of cars for those dealers. Not only is the Camry selling well (41,892 sales in July, more than the Nissan Altima and Pontiac G6 combined), but it's selling at an even higher price than its predecessor with no incentives or rebates luring in customers. They're coming of their own free will, apparently with wallets splayed and at the ready. The average transaction price of a Camry is now $22,558, up from $22,378 in April, and dealers are making money on them, sometimes getting within $500 of the vehicle's sticker.

Toyota's challenge in ramping up production, however, is to ensure that quality doesn't suffer. Automotive News reports that some Camry owners have already begun complaining about the same hesitation experienced under low-speed acceleration that dogged owners of the just-launched all-new Toyota Avalon last year. Several Technical Service Bulletins have already been issued by Toyota, which is not uncommon for any vehicle on the market, that address such problems as an issue with the snap ring on the car's 6-speed automatic, a shift flare issue for a small number of cars and some reports of harsh downshifting by owners of the four-cylinder automatic Camry. Toyota, for its part, has begun reassuring Camry owners on message boards and forums that any and all issues are being addressed.

[Source: Automotive News via Autoweek]

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