The Japanese are relentless. First the attacked the economy car market and now rule it. Then came midsize sedans, and we know how that ended. They took Chrysler's baby, the minivan, and fumbled for a bit, but never gave up and are now starting to dominate that field. The assault on the full-size truck market is already underway. Now comes this Avalon, a preliminary shot at another domestic dominated market.
It's all long-term thinking on the part of the Japanese manufacturers. Whatever segment they take on, they believe they will have the best car for it, and just don't give up until they achieve it. Toyota calls it Kaisen, which means continous improvement, not sure how Honda and Nissan term it, but whatever it's called it spells trouble for the Big Three.