Writing about the Toyota Camry makes me feel like a Boston sports reporter writing about Tom Brady. The Patriots quarterback has displayed his abilities and demonstrated his value for so long now that, well, what more can you say about him?
The Toyota Camry has remained the best-selling car in America for 12 straight years. Looking at the stats coming in for this year, it appears certain that Camry will retain its title for a 13th consecutive year when 2013 closes in a couple of months.
What makes the feat more remarkable is that the Camry plays in the toughest, most competitive division of the auto market. At least Tom Brady gets a breather against the teams he faces most often, the lackluster Buffalo Bills, New York Jets and Miami Dolphins, which vie in the American Football Conference East against the Patriots. By contrast, the Toyota Camry goes head-to-head against mid-size sedans that occupy the hottest segment of the passenger car trade.
So, not only has the Camry retained top popularity among automobiles, but it has done it while competing against autos that are themselves immensely popular.
What’s more, the Camry is routing them. Across the United States, Toyota has sold 319,000 Camrys so far this year. That’s 37,000 more than its closest challenger, the Honda Accord, which stood at 282,000 in sales through September. Next in line, the Ford Taurus, scored 226,000 through the first nine months, while the Chevrolet Malibu and Hyundai Sonata are close to tied for a distant, fourth-place spot, at about 155,000 – fewer than half the Camrys sold so far this year.
What’s the secret to such consistent success?
“There’s no black magic to it,” said Bob Marcoux, general sales manager of Rockingham Toyota Scion, which is one half of Rockingham Toyota Scion Honda in Salem, N.H. “People have come to trust the name. They know they can count on the Camry for its reliability, safety, comfort, longevity. For all the basics.”