When Toyota announced in early 2014 that it would end Australian production in late 2017, it came with confirmation that the company intended to continue offering the Camry and Aurion nameplates as part of its completely imported line-up.
Much can change in three years, however, and the sales and marketing chief of Toyota Australia has now revealed the Camry V6 shown in Detroit today will come to our market.
Speaking with Australian media at the event, Tony Cramb confirmed that reintroducing the Camry V6 will mean the end of the road for the Aurion.
"We'll get all three grades. We'll get the four-cylinder as we've had before, we'll have a hybrid again, and we'll bring the Camry V6 – and that will supersede Aurion," Cramb said.
The retirement of the Aurion could mean Toyota no longer has a sedan in the large car category, although the last Camry V6 was classed in the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries' VFACTS database as a large car, and there is every chance this new-generation Camry V6 could do the same.
"It'll be marketed as a Camry V6 – we haven't had any discussions with FCAI [on where it will sit]."
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Above: the new Camry
The company has stood by the two-car strategy in years past, including the Avalon before the Aurion, and the short-lived supercharged TRD Aurion between 2007 and 2009. Indeed, the power of even the regular versions of the 3.5-litre V6 had made it a popular offering.
"Aurion has been wonderful for us. We sold over 100,000 Aurions during its life and it's done an amazing job. But it was launched at a different time in the Australian automotive industry. It had a particular job and it did a really good job of that, but the market is changing, and we're changing with it," Cramb said.
"With the emergence of this vehicle as the Camry V6, the market is at a point now where you couldn't manage to have more than one nameplate. The market itself is shrinking, so for us, that kind of entrant as a Camry into a segment big enough for just one Toyota, is a great entry into that market."
Aurion sales dipped in 2016 to 3833 by year's end, down from 4306 at the same point in 2015.
That means in the large-car segment, the Aurion was outsold by the Falcon (4434), which was in its final year of production, along with the Commodore in a distant first place on 25,860. The Commodore, like the Aurion, is now in its last year of local manufacture.
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