Where Did Toyota Get The Name Camry?

Something we are passionate about here at Garage Dreams is looking at the origins and history of cars.

In fact, at the fundamental level this website is all about preserving the history of popular classic cars like the Toyota Supra, Nissan Skyline GT-R and Mazda Miata/MX-5.

One particular area of interest for us is looking at the origins of car names (for example, we recently did a piece on why the Miata is called Miata, or the meaning of Nissan’s “Z-Car” badging).

In today’s edition of Car Facts, we are continuing with that theme, and looking at one of the most popular and well-regarded sedan cars of all time – the Toyota Camry.

With over 10 million and counting examples produced during its history, the Camry is a byword for reliable and dependable motoring.

Although it has never been the last word in driving dynamics (to be fair the newer models are rather rapid) the Camry has won a loyal following for being spacious, comfortable and dependable.

We recently looked at the origins of the Corolla name, and in this edition of Car Facts we are going to look at where Toyota got the name Camry.

Royal Origins For The King Of Sedans

The Toyota Camry’s name comes from the Japanese word for crown – Kanmuri.

When pronounced, this sounds remarkably similar to Camry (and Camry is a lot easier to spell)

Using Google Translate, you can see here that Kanmuri translates to Crown in English:

Therefore, some have suggested that the name Camry is meant to represent that the car was intended by Toyota to be “royalty” in the sedan world (and it certainly is in terms of sales volume and continued popularity!)

The Camry Isn’t Toyota’s Only Crown-Named Car

As we established in our recent Car Facts article on the name of the Toyota Corolla, Toyota has a bit of prior form when it comes to naming cars after crowns.

Here are some of the other cars in Toyota’s lineup with crown-derived names:

  • Toyota Crown – It doesn’t take much explanation to work out the naming of this car! The Toyota Crown started out as Toyota’s flagship sedan in the mid 1950s, and continues to be produced to this day (here in New Zealand, we see a fair few JDM Crowns on the road which have been imported from Japan). The name Crown was meant to indicate that this is Toyota’s ‘royalty’. You can read our Toyota Crown buyer’s guide if you’d like more information about this flagship sedan.
  • Toyota Corona –  Another popular sedan (and also the basis of the Caldina platform) which was produced up until the early 2000s. Corona is Latin for Crown.
  • Camry Atara – In Australia and New Zealand, the Camry is sold in a trim level called ‘Atara’. Atara is a name of Hebrew origin that means – wait for it – ‘Crown’ (so in fact if you have a Camry Atara you have a ‘Crown Crown’, which doesn’t quite roll off the tongue so well).
  • Toyota Corolla – As we established in an earlier edition of Car Facts, the Toyota Corolla is named (according to some) after the Latin word for ‘Little Crown’, representing that this is Toyota’s flagship hatchback/small car. You can read more here about the origins of the Toyota Corolla name. You might also like to read our Toyota Corolla history guide for even more information about this popular car.

Recap – Where Did Toyota Get The Name Camry?

To recap, the name “Camry” comes from the Japanese word from Crown – kanmuri.

Some suggest that this is meant to indicate that the Camry is the king of sedan cars – although perhaps that title really needs to rest with the Toyota Crown.

This is in-keeping with Toyota having named a few different cars after Crowns (such as – funnily enough – the Toyota Crown, but also the Corolla and Corona).

We hope you found this article informative. Keep an eye out for more Car Facts, with new articles releasing every week.

Leave a Comment