Toyota (NYSE: TM) Camry held its position as America’s best selling car last month, just below the three full-sized pick-ups which dominate U.S. vehicles . Camry kept its place because it is designed for the part of the market most popular to drivers and its extremely high reputation for quality.
Despite its popularity, Toyota has struggled to push Camry sales higher, at least so far this year. Sales for the first four months were up 1.7%, reaching 134,571 cars sold, according to Motor Intelligence. April sales fell 10.4% from the same month last year to 34,066, most likely because the market for mid-sized sedans is very crowded.
The Camry has a starting price of $22,970. It gets 35 mpg in highway driving, in part due to its small 2.5 liter, four-cylinder engine. Most other car companies have a vehicle which is nearly identical. These include the Ford (NYSE: F) Fusion, which was the 11th best selling vehicle in the U.S. with sales of 24,954 and GM’s (NYSE: GM) Chevy Malibu sedan with its base price of $22.190. Honda’s (NYSE: HMC) competitor in this segment is the Accord, with a base price of $23,909. The Accord was the 9th best selling vehicle in April, with unit sales of 27,251.
Toyota’s top ranking in consumer research on car quality is a strong factor in car buyer’s decisions. In the new 2015 J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study, Toyota ranked third among all brands, behind its own Lexus luxury division and Buick. Toyota has been at, or near the top of this and other car quality surveys, for decades.
Toyotas quality reputation is critical to its success. After all, Toyota holds three of the positions among America’s top selling cars.
The Camry is likely to keep its poll position for a long time.