Toyota Motor Corp.
has a challenge: How to heed President Akio Toyoda's insistence on heart-racing design for the next Camry and Prius models without jeopardizing their mass-market appeal.
Getting it wrong risks knocking Camry from its perch as the best-selling U.S. car, a title held for 12 consecutive years, and seeing Prius, which sells more than 200,000 units annually in the U.S., eclipsed by newer hybrid vehicles. While next-generation versions of both cars are in the works, Toyota executives haven't provided many details.
The aim for the next Camry is a "more emotional, more impactful design," Kevin Hunter, head of Toyota's U.S. design studio, said in an interview at the Detroit auto show this week. "Camry's taken some hits on styling, but it's still selling well. But we need to create better design for Camry in the future."