Toyota's Camry has long since established itself as a symbol of practicality and reliability. Outnumbering most other vehicles on the road, it is a top seller, competing with Honda's and Ford's most popular sedans for years. It would seem positioned to continue on as a popular choice for families, achieving huge sales volumes for Toyota. The Camry's reputation, however, has taken a devastating blow in the last year, in the midst of Toyota's recall fiasco.
Consumers' confidence in the Camry has turned to doubt. When compared to sedans from Ford, Honda, and GM, Camry's future is beginning to rather grim. Detroit has made serious progress in winning back sales volume in this segment, adding plenty of competition. Their continued growth, and relatively trouble-free track records may be just what they need to trample the Camry. Toyota has a lot of catching up to do in general, meaning the company must divide its attention amongst all of their suffering models - another reason the Camry could begin to seriously struggle.
It's no surprise that consumers would begin to doubt the Camry's future, but what's scary is that Toyota's own President is losing confidence in the car. Akio Toyoda has expressed concern about how to keep the sedan competitive in years to come. He notes the recent success of Ford, GM, and Hyundai. These are certainly worthy competitors, and Toyoda's fears are justified.
Traditionally a rather plain vehicle, lacking excitement and sex appeal, the Camry (in my opinion) was bound to be left behind sooner or later. At this point, extensive improvements to the car's image may be more urgent than ever. Toyoda's commitment to focusing his company on more exciting designs will be the key to the company's recovery. Hopefully that target will ensure a successful future for the Camry.