The newly redesigned 2012 Toyota Camry SE is unvelied during...

The newly redesigned 2012 Toyota Camry SE is unvelied during a news event on the Paramount Studios lot in Hollywood. (Aug. 23, 2011) Credit: Getty Images

Toyota said Tuesday its redesigned 2012 Camry would cost as much as $2,000 less than the current model as the carmaker struggles with falling sales of what is, nevertheless, still the bestselling car in the United States.

The new models are to start arriving in showrooms in October, the carmaker said as it unveiled them at events in Hollywood, Detroit, and New York and at its Kentucky assembly plant. The new models replace versions on sale since 2007.

Prices for the least expensive of the seventh-generation Camrys, the "L," will begin at $21,995 plus $760 freight, up $710. The more popular "LE" variant will be $22,500, or $200 less than its 2011 predecessor, while the most luxurious XLE variant with a four-cylinder engine will cost $2,000 less than before, or $24,725.

U.S. dealers sold 327,804 Camrys last year nationally, down 8 percent from 2009 in an improving overall market, according to the trade paper Automotive News, as many of its competitors gained. Sales this year through July totaled 174,485, down 7.8 percent from a year earlier amid competition and parts shortages caused by the Japanese earthquake and tsunami in March.

The basic car will have a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine with 9 horsepower more than its predecessor, or 178 hp. Toyota says fuel economy is improved to 25 mpg in city driving and 35 mpg on the highway, from 22 and 32 for the 2011 four- cylinder model with automatic transmission. Once again V-6 and hybrid models will be offered.

New registrations on Long Island of Toyotas fell by 27.5 percent in June from a year earlier, according to the auto information provider R.L. Polk & Co.

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