The Camry is a staple of Toyota’s lineup in the US, and despite the move away from sedans to SUVs, it’s almost unthinkable that it would ever be killed off. That is not the case with Japanwhere the Camry is reportedly slated to stop selling by the end of 2023.
The report comes from the Nikkeiwhich reported on Thursday that Toyota has already stopped most of the Japanese dealer from placing new orders for the Camry. The model will be phased out from Toyota’s Japanese lineup by the end of the year. The paper also emphasizes that the Camry is still safe in overseas markets, including the US
The plug-pull would end 43 uninterrupted years of the Camry nameplate in Toyota’s home country. The Camry was introduced in Japan in 1980 and in the United States in 1983. At home, however, he was never a big seller like here. According to the Nikkei, Toyota sold 1.3 million Camrys in Japan during its four decades on the market. In comparison, American sales totaled 13 million, a tenfold increase.
That’s largely because Toyota has offered much more compelling alternatives to Japanese buyers. The Camry was Toyota’s first front-wheel drive offering and was fitted with four-cylinder or V6 engines. However, in Japan, customers could buy one Toyota crown or in later years a Mark X sedan, which was more or less the same size but mostly rear-wheel drive.
The third and fourth generation Camrys were arguably the best. That’s when the Camry began its climb to the top of America’s best-selling car lists. This honor was bestowed on him for four consecutive years from 1997 to 2000. However, these cars were not popular in Japan because they were tailored for the American market. Their larger size puts them in a more expensive category for road taxes and discourages sales.
From 2001, the Japanese Camrys were only offered with four-cylinder engines. The V6 engines were reserved for the Toyota Windom, a platform twin we’d recognize as one Lexus ES. As of 2011, the Japanese Camry was only offered as an A hybridbut that wasn’t enough to stand out in a market full of hybrids.
Today, the reason for the Camry’s demise is a little more obvious. Anyone who guessed SUVs is right according to that Nikkei. Its family rival, the Mark X, was discontinued in 2019, and the Crown has morphed into a quasi-crossover high-altitude sedan. However, the Camry is still sold in over 100 countries and shows no signs of disappearing from those markets. At present.