7 min read
On This Day in Automotive History, October 12, 1993, The 1-Millionth Toyota Camry Came Off the Assembly Line. A look Through its Generations and Today
A major milestone was reached in the automotive industry on this day. 11 years after the initial launch of the Toyota Camry, the 1 millionth Camry rolled off the assembly line on October 12, 1993. We take a look at Camrys long line of success through its 8 generations.
Sakichi Toyoda, the founder of Toyota Family Companies, is known as the “King of Japanese Inventors”. Born in 1867, Toyoda revolutionized the textile industry by bringing automation and machines into the hands of businesses and individuals. He laid the groundwork so that his son, Kiichiro Toyoda, could take what was built and build upon it to bring the Toyota Motor Corporation into existence.
“The more people use my inventions, the better the country will be.” - Sakichi Toyoda
Today, Toyota is one of the most well-known manufacturers in the automotive industry. On July 21, 2021, just under 28 years since this milestone of 1-Million was celebrated, the Toyota Georgetown Assembly plant in Kentucky celebrated the 10-millionth Camry coming off the line.
Creation of the Camry
The word “Camry” is derived from the Japanese word, “Kanmuri”, which means “crown”. This follows Toyota's tradition of using royal words for their flagship models.
The Camry name first appeared in 1979 on the back of the Toyota Celica. Due to a fuel shortage at the time, manufacturers were pressured to make a vehicle that was lighter, compact, and more fuel-efficient. Thus, the first official Camry was produced and began sales in 1982.
The switch from rear-wheel drive to front-wheel drive was common during the time, but the company one-upped its competitors by increasing the wheelbase and offering models with larger engines. Adding to this, they were one of the first to transversely mount their engine. This allowed for a smaller engine compartment, more room for passengers, and more weight on the front wheels for added grip.
These innovations are just some of the many reasons this vehicle beat out competitors, sold well, and still sells well to this day. The Camry has a legacy of being a well-engineered, reliable vehicle, and this legacy continues to this day.
Throughout the Ages
From the stereotypical boxiness of the 1980s to the sleek futuristic look of today, Toyota has continued to innovate and improve the Camry over the ages.
The first two generations had a similar style that grew more streamlined as the models improved. The second generation started to sell a station wagon-styled model that was longer and had a hatched rear door for storage.
Their engines started at 1.8-liter, but they also offered a 2.0-liter version. Both had the option of having either a fully automatic transmission or a manual transmission.
The third generation, starting in 1992, had that classic smooth 90s style and offered quite a few upgrades alongside.
Firstly, the models were slightly larger than their older counterparts. This moved them from the compact class to the midsize class.
In addition, they added much better engines. They previously offered several engine styles for their models, but they decided to cut that number down to ensure quality over quantity.
They now offered two engine types:
- 2.2 Liter Four-Cylinder Engine
- 3.0 Liter V6 Engine
Skipping ahead to the fourth generation of Camry in 1997, where for the first time the Camry celebrated becoming the #1 selling car in America.
In the fifth generation, Toyota shifted its focus not just on performance, but on comfort as well. While the fifth generation was one of the slower models, it was one of the most stylish sedans of the day and had a surprisingly luxurious interior.
The sixth generation was a milestone for the company. Here they earned MotorTrends 2007 Car of the Year. It came with massive improvements to performance, style, and safety.
After this generation, they began to offer hybrid versions of their vehicles and their styling became more assertive and distinctive.
Today’s 2022 Toyota Camrys are stylistic and sleek. They’re built for performance, safety, and efficiency. They are affordable and famed for their reliability. If you ask any mechanic for a car recommendation, Toyota will always be on that list.
The Camry is undeniably a good vehicle. It looks phenomenal and is packed to the brim with technology to make your experience the best it can be.
There are many levels of trim to choose from so it can be as affordable or as luxurious as you want.
While the gas versions are fuel-efficient enough for most, they also offer hybrid versions as well. Both options provide excellent performance and handling. They have smooth, quiet rides and high safety scores.
Standard trim levels will give you a multitude of safety features such as:
- Collision Detection
- Pedestrian Detection
- Lane Alerts
- Steering Assist
- Sign Assist
- Automatic High Beams
- Adaptive Cruise Control
When it comes to the interior, they are spacious and luxurious. They offer an integrated backup camera and a 7in screen. However, if that isn’t enough for you, they offer upgrades on nearly every feature. Listening to music or podcasts will be enjoyable with their six high-quality speakers to provide you with clear, clean audio. The 2022 Toyota Camry is great for everyone. If you want something sportier, they have a version for that. Their sportier engine is a 3.5 liter V6 with over 300 horsepower for you to harness. With this, you can expect to go from 0 to 100 km/h in 5 seconds. That is fast, especially for something that is designed for comfort and efficiency. The hybrids offer a 2.5L 4-cylinder Gas/Electric hybrid engine. But just because it’s a smaller engine doesn’t mean it can’t be just as fun.
No matter what you’re looking for in a vehicle, the Toyota Camry has a version for you. Starting in the 80s, they built a legacy that would last for decades. They expanded from a humble automatic loom company to the automotive juggernaut they are today not by dumb luck or smart investments, but by consistently producing high-quality, reliable vehicles.
Whether you want to get somewhere quickly, safely, and efficiently, Toyota is here for you. And they will be there for decades to come.