All Camrys sold in U.S. to be made here, Toyota says

Imports from Japan had dwindled to 3,200

ssloan@herald-leader.comSeptember 7, 2011 

Toyota no longer plans to import any Camrys from Japan for sale in the United States, ending a diminishing practice that had dwindled to just a few thousand last year.

The announcement from the automaker came in conjunction with the launch of the latest generation of the sedan in Japan on Monday. The vehicle launched last month in the United States, where it is far and away more popular and has been the top-selling car for 13 of the past 14 years.

In total, only 3,200 Camrys were exported from Japan to North America in 2010, a Japanese company spokesman told Nikkei.com.

Last year, the company's Georgetown plant built 270,249 Camrys. A Subaru plant in Lafayette, Ind., built 87,731. (Toyota owns a stake in Subaru's parent company).

"It makes good business sense to build cars for the U.S. customer in the U.S.," said Rick Hesterberg, Toyota's spokesman at its flagship plant in Georgetown.

The move will bolster the assessment by Cars.com that the Camry is the "most American" vehicle. The sedan received the honor again this year based on the Web site's criteria, which includes where parts are made and location of assembly.

In announcing the 2012 Camry, Toyota officials said it increases its share of North American-produced parts to more than 80 percent.

Reach Scott Sloan at (859) 231-1447 or 1-800-950-6397, Ext. 1447.

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