Toyota Motor Corp. is slowing down production of what’s been the top-selling car in the U.S. for 16 years running, a telling indication of how deep a slump sedans are in.
The automaker plans to slow one of the three assembly lines at its Camry assembly plant in Kentucky next month, according to Rick Hesterberg, a spokesman. The sedan shares the line with the larger Avalon sedan.
“The auto industry is cyclical, and our normal process is to proactively plan months in advance for volume adjustments,” Hesterberg said. He declined to give specifics on the extent of the production reduction at the plant in Georgetown, which is Toyota’s largest.
Toyota sold about 289,800 Camrys in the U.S. this year through October, a 6.1% drop from a year earlier. Demand has slid even after the company thoroughly redesigned the car last year with all-new parts. Buyers have been abandoning the Camry and other stalwart sedans including the Honda Accord and opting for sport utility vehicles instead.
The Georgetown plant’s other two assembly lines making Camry and Lexus ES models won’t be affected, according to Hesterberg. None of the plant’s 8,000 permanent workers or 1,500 temporary employees will lose their jobs, he said.
By John Lippert