THE MOTLEY FOOL
Toyota's 2015 Camry XSE will help keep competition at bay. Image source: Toyota Motors.
However, Toyota's decision to get more aggressive with its design likely stems from a new challenger: Ford Motor Company's (NYSE: F ) Fusion. Here's one graph that shows why Toyota is a bit scared, and what the Japanese automaker is doing about it.
Fusion sales accelerate
Over the last couple of decades Ford has been known for many things, but making high-quality and popular midsize sedans wasn't one of them. Former CEO Alan Mulally knew that had to change when he took over the helm of the troubled automaker in 2006. With a renewed focus on smaller, more fuel-efficient and aesthetically pleasing vehicles, the Fusion soon hit the streets -- and it quickly became a hit.
"My design brief to the team was to do an absolute drop-dead gorgeous head-turner," said J. Mays, Ford's head of global design, according to the Detroit Free Press. "And it was to look $10,000-$15,000 more expensive than it is."
With a new challenger in the mix to be king of the hill atop the midsize segment, Toyota plans to crank up the aggressiveness with its mid-cycle refresh of the Camry -- a vehicle that is well known for being dependable, yet dull.
It's clear Toyota's not going to give up its top passenger car sales position in the United States without a fight, and the 2015 Camry has a couple of tricks up its sleeve.
The Japanese automaker invested substantially to change the entire 2015 Camry's sheet metal exterior, with only the roof remaining identical to the prior year's model.
The re-engineered 2015 Camry went into production on Sept. 17 and is just now arriving at dealerships.
Although the 2015 Camry will remain much the same vehicle under the hood, you can expect those major changes to be upgraded during the full redesign in a few years.
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