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Camry shakes up D-segment

New Delhi, Nov. 18: The Camry, Toyota’s largest selling sedan in the US, has made a splash in the D-segment in the very first month since its launch.

The car that is being imported for the Indian market sold 111 units in a very niche segment where monthly sales average around 400 units. Camry competes with other established models it the segment like the Hyundai Sonata, Ford Mondeo and Honda Accord.

In fact, the battle in the D-segment is just beginning to hot up with the Sonata regaining its pole position in October after it had surrendered the top slot to the Accord. The biggest loser is the Mondeo, whose sales dipped to 55 units in October after peaking at 81 in the previous month.

“Our first consignment was totally sold out. We are a bit overbooked now. The demand was expected because in the first month after launch, people generally wait for a new car. However, looking at the present response, we think the target of selling 1,000 Camrys in the first year will not be difficult.”

The Camry is the highest priced D-segment offering at Rs 18 lakh; the Mondeo and the Accord are around Rs 15-16 lakh while the Sonata is the cheapest at a little over Rs 13 lakh.

“Mondeo is a fully-loaded car and we were expecting sales of 50-100 cars in any given month. So we are not completely out of focus. Moreover, when a new car is launched the excitement is more,” Ford India vice-president external affairs Vinay Piprasania said.

Hyundai saw an increase in sales to 150 cars in October following the launch of the H-matic V6 engine powered new petrol version of the Sonata. The launch arrested the slide in September to 115 units. The sales of Accord fell to 95 in October from 147 units in September. The car, which raced past the Sonata in September, could not maintain its position in the festival month.

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