Toyota used strategy to breath new life into idled robotics that now build the 2012 Camry with lower costs and a very competitive price structure.
With false accusations, an erroneous government onslaught, earthquakes, tsunamis, and economic turmoil chipping away at sales and brand loyalty, Toyota knew when approaching a redesigned for the 2012 Camry that a priceincrease wasn’t an option. While Camry remains the best selling car in America, its lead has diminished and competitors such as the Hyundai Sonata and the Ford Fusion have seen double-digit sales increases over the last year. Pricing the Camry over its competition, and in the midst of a recession, could positionthe car to customer push-back before it even hit the market.
One of Toyota’s primary production goals for the new Camry was cost containment. Wherever possible, the automaker looked to boost production efficiencies, and one way was to reuse existing production assets from idled facilities.
Building the 2012 Camry in Toyota’s Georgetown, Kentucky, plant are the same robots once used by NUMMI, the former Toyota-GM project facility in Fremont, Calif. The robots once welded up Toyota Matrix hatchbacks, but with fresh tooling and reprogramming, they’re now building the mid-size Camry sedan, cutting costs and keeping the pricing structure down.
Toyota won’t say how much it saved by repurposing the robots. Yet the new Camry is priced at an average of two percent less than the model it replaces. On higher-end models, the savings are even more significant.