Japanese automaker Toyota Motors has restarted the production of Camry Hybrid in India. The automaker had temporarily discontinued the production of the premium sedan in the country in October last year due to low demand and increased taxes on luxury vehicles by the Indian government. The Indian government has increased the tax rate on the premium vehicles by making it 28 percent GST and 15 percent luxury cess.
Shekar Vishwanathan, Vice-Chairman, Toyota Kirloskar said, ‘‘We had to stop the production of hybrid Camry for a while because our stock had built up as the tax rate had gone up. Our intent is to bring more models at lower segments as much as possible. But first, we want the tax rate to be a little more sensible from the customer’s point of view. Once you push enough number of hybrids into the market with enough battery manufacturing taking place in India, then the volumes go up and When the volumes go up, the battery cost will come down.’’
Currently, Toyota Camry hybrid costs Rs. 42 lakhs, which is a 13 % increase over the car’s price pre-GST making it to compete with luxury cars such as the Audi A4, BMW 3-Series and the Mercedes Benz C-Class. Under the hood, the Camry hybrid sedan comes powered by a 2.5 litre “beltless” petrol engine with an electric motor. It uses a complex ECU called the Hybrid Synergy Drive to monitor driving conditions and switch between power sources – either the petrol engine or the electric motor. While the power to the electric motor comes from a battery pack, the cumulative power output of the petrol engine and the electric motor is 201 bhp and returns an impressive fuel efficiency of 19.16 Kmpl.
The Indian government had issued its intentions of promoting electric vehicles in public and personal space by 2030, hence Toyota felt that it made the scenario for hybrid models uncertain. However, the company is hoping that there would be convenient tax schemes introduced for the hybrid models soon in the country. Also, hybrids can be the future as corporate average fuel efficiency norms come into effect by 2022. If that happens, there would be more electric as well as hybrid vehicles in the market. Apart from this, the BSVI norms would come into effect from the year 2020 which will also increase the price of diesel cars subsequently reducing the price gap between hybrid and diesel models.
With the government’s intention to promote more hybrid and electric motors in the vehicles in future, the automakers can now invest in technologies that are alternatives to fuel or help to reduce emissions as well as fuel usage. Alternative fuel sources such as hydrogen, ethanol and biodiesel sources are the other power sources the automakers are focusing on for future. Therefore, hybrid vehicles like Toyota Camry hybrid would prove to be more fuel efficient and adhere to the new fuel efficiency norms in order to bring the sedan back in demand in the country. Stay tuned to V3cars.com for further updates on the same.