Why Toyota is slowing down Camry production

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Toyota Motor Corp. slows down the production of what the best selling car in the United States has been on the market for 16 years, underlining the continued slump of sedans.

The automaker is planning to slow down one of the three assembly lines at its Camry assembly plant in Kentucky next month, according to Rick Hesterberg, a spokesman. The sedan shares the line with the larger Avalon sedan.

"The automotive industry is cyclical and our normal process is to proactively plan months in advance to adjust the volume," Hesterberg said. He refused to give details about the scale of the production reduction at the Georgetown plant, the largest in Toyota.

Toyota sold approximately 289,800 Camrys in the US this year until October, a decrease of 6.1 percent from a year earlier. Toyota's car sales in the United States, including Lexus, dropped 11 percent in October to 755,724 vehicles.

Demand fell, even after the company thoroughly redesigned the vehicle with completely new parts last year. Buyers leave the Camry and other tough sedans including the Honda Accord and opt for crossovers and SUVs instead.

The other two assembly lines at the Georgetown plant that make the Camry and Lexus ES models will not be affected according to Hesterberg. None of the 8,000 permanent employees or 1,500 temporary workers at the plant will lose their jobs, he said.

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