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Toyota will lower price of new generation Camry

August 23, 2011 | 10:30 am

Camry2 Toyota Motor Corp. revealed the new generation of its bestselling Camry sedan and said it would lower the price to compete with Hyundai’s Sonata and the increasingly stiff competition in the mid-size sedan segment of the auto industry.

Toyota dropped the base price of its core LE Camry model by $200 to $22,500.  The more luxurious XLE model fell by $2,000 to $24,725.

The automaker, which is working to reverse a several year slide in market share, also introduced a new hybrid Camry, which it said will get 43 miles to the gallon in city driving and 41 MPG in combined driving.

The new hybrid is targeted at the popular Ford Fusion hybrid and new hybrids from Hyundai and Kia.  The price will start at $25,900, about $1,100 less than the previous generation.

Toyota said the new generation Camry will have a sportier drive with tighter suspension and handling.  It also will include 10 airbags to protect the driver and passengers. Toyota Camry SE_02

The car will go on sale in October and will be the seventh iteration of the Camry and the first redesign of the sedan since the 2007 model year. It is expected to do well. The research firm IHS forecasts that the new version will sell 350,000 to 380,000 vehicles during its first year.

The Camry’s market share in the mid-size car segment so far this year is 13.8%. This is down from a share of 16.5% in 2010 and a peak within the last decade of 18.8% in 2009, according to Edmunds.com. Despite the slide, the Camry remains the bestselling passenger sedan in America.

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-- Jerry Hirsch

Twitter.com/LATimesJerry

Photo (top) : The new-generation Toyota Camry. Credit: Jerry Hirsch / Los Angeles Times

Photo (below): 2012 Camry. Credit: Toyota Motor Corp.

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