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by Tim Beissmann

Toyota Australia has dropped the five-speed manual Toyota Camry from its line-up as a result of dwindling sales.

A Toyota Australia spokesman today confirmed local production of Camry vehicles with the manual transmission would cease at the end of May.

“We will continue making it until the end of production this month,” the spokesman said.

He confirmed sales of the manual Camry had dipped to “low double-digits”, well below 50 sales per month. Toyota Australia sold 1577 Camrys in Australia in April, meaning manuals accounted for less than three out of every 100 Camrys sold.

The spokesman said Camry customers still had the option to select gears manually by using the standard five-speed automatic transmission’s tiptronic function.

The removal of the manual transmission option from the current-generation Camry makes it likely that the next-generation Camry (due in Australia either late-2011 or early-2012) will be auto-only.

It is expected that the new Camry will come standard with a six-speed automatic transmission, while the Hybrid Camry (to be updated soon after the conventional non-hybrid Camry) will retain its continuously variable transmission (CVT).

Towards the end of its life, the manual transmission has only been available in the entry-level Altise and sports-oriented Sportivo models. The manual models are priced the same as the autos, and despite offering a weight saving of 35-40kg, they are less fuel efficient than the autos (8.9 litres/100km vs 8.8 litres/100km).

Toyota Australia’s website no longer lists the manual transmission as an available option for Camry customers.

Sales of the Camry have dropped 18.6 percent this year compared with the first four months of 2010 (5806 sales vs 7132). The Camry still maintains a commanding 32.8 percent share of the sub-$60K medium segment, although this has decreased from 37.3 percent in 2010.

2011 Toyota Camry manufacturer’s list prices:

  • Altise – $30,490
  • Touring SE – $30,990
  • Ateva – $32,490
  • Sportivo – $33,990
  • Grande – $39,990
  • Hybrid Camry – $36,990
  • Hybrid Camry Luxury – $39,990



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