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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
My passion is also my business, as I am with the Toronto based Hav-A-Kar Auto Group. I sell or lease any make of car, van or truck available in Canada. My interest in all things "car" has helped me with my many clients in Ontario over the past 20+ years. Please give me the opportunity to assist you.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Sept 9: Time for a change

 So this is how it all started way back in the mid '80's. Toyota introduced a new model to North America, the Camry in hatchback and sedan versions. Nothing special, just a new mid-sized car from the Japanese steamroller, that was slowly, but steadily pushing aside the domestic makes. I remember a good ol' boy, friend of mine, driving up to my place with his new Camry hatchback....... "Look, Barry, this is so practical and easy to load." Frankly, I couldn't see what he was so excited about, just another Toyota. And not a particularly good looking one either.

 A few short years after this, Toyota introduced their new luxury brand, Lexus (we all know how that turned out). The first model was the ultra lux, LS. As you can see from this pic, it was Mercedes similar in design, solid looking and imposing. Sold very well, even with an initial quality glitch, that Toyota handled like a casebook study, so no harm done.

Now comes the 1992 Camry........

 ........gee, it sure looks like a junior version of the Lexus. No problem, as folks snapped them up, many experiencing a Toyota for the very first time. Quality? Just like the LS that it so resembled. This was the best Camry for many years, as the next ones never quite lived up to this one's reputation. You still see them around and often times in not bad shape.

The Americans grew to love their Camrys, eventually making it their best selling car, year after year, passing first the Ford Taurus, then the beloved Honda Accord in the process. Funny, as the Camry was absent in most other markets in the world. Go to Europe and you'd be lucky to see one. At one time, Camry was selling in the hundreds per year in England. Everywhere else, the similarly sized Carina was Toyota's mid-sized standard bearer.......

Not sure why Toyota had both models, as the were very similar looking and similarly rather boring to drive. I rented one in Ireland and had to make sure I was fueled with coffee every time I got behind the wheel. But year after year, the Camry was numero uno in the American market, putting out over 400,000 units year after year. The buff books knocked Toyota, but the regular folks continued to line up.

But then there was a distinct change in the market place, as first Nissan, then Hyundai brought attractive and even cutting edge style to the mid-sized bread 'n butter market. Camry kept selling, but those previous bottom feeders were moving up the sales charts. Writing on the wall? Maybe, but this is how Toyota will be responding in 2015.........

Now don't let this pic fool you. Toyota is not making a track capable car of its venerable Camry, but like the plain Jane Corolla, they are giving this winner a thorough restyling, in the process making it a little more, dare I say, cutting edge? But no question, this is the best looking Camry in years, no longer just a great selling blob.

Toyota is trying to add more style across their entire line (check out Lexus), no matter the market. Below is the European Avensis, a Camry sized car not sold in North America, just as the Camry is not sold in Europe. Why not use the same car? Who knows, but as you can see, this new Avensis, also has character built into its lines, character that was missing from the previous model.

So, the good old Camry, so familiar and so safe, will enter 2015 with more character, but not so much that it will alienate Toyota's loyal following. Just enough so that folks like me, will no longer have to worry about falling asleep whenever we see one. Way to go, Toyota, it's about time.

Until next time........

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