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Newly unveiled Toyota Camry (Photo by Kazuyuki Okudaira)
Business

Toyota unveils new Camry at Detroit motor show

Vehicle undergoes full remodeling for first time in six years

TORU HATANO, Nikkei staff writer | Japan

DETROIT -- Toyota Motor on Monday debuted its new Camry sedan at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The Camry -- fully remodeled for the first time in six years -- is the first model whose engines and transmissions are produced under a new production method called Toyota New Global Architecture. The automaker currently sells some 400,000 Camrys in the U.S.

The new Camry -- the eighth generation from the first model produced in 1982 -- is produced at a plant in the state of Kentucky.

"I believe [the new Camry] will be the best generation we've ever built," President Akio Toyoda said. "In fact, we view this as an opportunity to reignite the midsize sedan market," he said.

Toyota also unveiled the LS sedan, a redesigned version of the flagship Lexus luxury brand, that was fully remodeled for the first time in 11 years.

Although U.S. new car sales are stagnating, a record 17.55 million or so cars were sold last year. While uncertainties over supply chains hover in the air as U.S. President-elect Donald Trump criticizes automakers' efforts to expand production in Mexico, carmakers are showcasing new models as usual here.

Honda Motor unveiled its new Odyssey minivan, which enables various usages of second-row seats that slide transversely. The automaker equipped a safety feature called Honda Sensing, including a system that automatically applies the brakes, as standard equipment on its main models.

Honda said it plans to release new hybrid vehicles in North America in 2018, mostly in the light truck lineup including SUVs.

President Takahiro Hachigo said about half of new cars sold in the U.S. will be electric vehicles within two years.

Nissan Motor showcased its Rogue Sport SUV, which will be released this spring. The new Rogue Sport is about 31cm shorter and about 14cm lower than the old model, which is called the X-Trail in Japan.

While Nissan is planning to court families to expand sales of the old model, it will pitch the Rogue Sport to buyers who prefer smaller, sportier models. 

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