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Toyota To Unveil Camry Update In Couple Of Weeks

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

DETROIT (AP) - Toyota plans to unveil an updated version of its top-selling Camry midsize car in about two weeks.

The update to America's best-selling car includes making the front-end more crash resistant so it can pass a new test done by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Bill Fay, head of the Toyota division in the U.S., said Thursday in an interview with The Associated Press.

Fay said engineers are still working on the car, but wouldn't reveal anything further about the changes. As for styling, Fay hinted that there wouldn't be many changes. Critics have said the Camry's styling looks bland compared with midsize cars from other automakers.

"The car has done really very well since we launched it" three years ago, Fay said. "Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder."

Through November, Camry sales grew only 1.3 percent to nearly 379,000. Its main rival, the Honda Accord, is gaining. Accord sales have risen almost 11 percent to over 324,000, closing the gap to around 45,000. Last year at this time it was just over 71,000.

Fay wouldn't say when the revamped Camry would go on sale, but he said the changes should help it keep the top spot this year and next in the largest and most competitive segment of the U.S. auto market.

The Camry performed poorly earlier this year in the new IIHS crash test that measures how well people are protected when the front corner of a car hits another car or object. The Camry got a "Poor" rating on the new front-end test and failed to get the "Top Safety Pick-Plus" designation that some competitors received.

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