Toyota banking on new 2012 Camry

Toyota unveiled their new 2012 Camry yesterday. The 2012 Toyota Camry may be the most important model in Toyota’s history. The major earthquake in Japan earlier this year hurt production and sales of various Toyota vehicles. On top of that, the brand was already struggling to come back from the terrible publicity caused by the whole sudden acceleration problem. The third blow they have been sustaining is improved competition from Ford, as well as, Hyundai and Kia. If the 2012 Camry is not a home run for Toyota, then they will need to do some serious soul searching that may result in top level execs getting the boot and perhaps even shaking up the entire lineup and philosophy.

From what I have seen so far of the new Camry, it is still a yawner. It looks like an enlarged Corolla, just like the previous generations. This is not a good thing in my mind at all. I have seen a bunch of journalists and auto industry experts say that it’s still ‘vanilla’. This is not a good thing to have said about a new car, especially one that needs to be better than before and better than an improved competition. The exterior looks a little sportier, but overall the car does not look all that different. You won’t mistake it for anything but a Camry (except maybe a Corolla).

The interior does look a little better. It looks a little more luxurious, at least the higher end versions. In fact, if the exterior and performance of the new Camry matched the interior, then I would be more confident that Toyota has figured it out. Unfortunately, that is not the case and therefore, I have no faith that Toyota can make the come back they hope to.