Toyota Etios to go hybrid
2013 Toyota Etios in India
The world's largest carmaker Toyota Motor Corporation is considering a hybrid variant of the Etios to meet the emerging needs and is also considering the manufacture of hybrid cars in India. The National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP) 2020 has got many automobile manufacturers pondering over electric and hybrid options for vehicles for India. The NEMMP 2020?s attractive subsidy strategy, which delivers a direct subsidy on the ex-showroom prices of hybrid and electric cars, is said to be the motivating factor for companies like Toyota and Mahindra. One such example is the Mahindra E2O.
Toyota's Indian subsidiary, Toyota Kirloskar Motor, is doing a feasibility study to assemble hybrid models in India. Apart from the Prius hybrid, the company could launch Camry hybrid to enhance its chances at reaping the benefits of NEMMP 2020, provided it comes into effect.
To adapt to price sensitive markets like India, Toyota will be looking at specific strategies. Kouji Toyoshima, chief engineer, Toyota Motor Corporation said, "We need to consider hybrid version of Etios going forward or a car for the emerging market. I think the first priority is to reduce the cost of the vehicle and improve efficiency levels, so that the customers in India are willing to choose hybrids as a better affordable alternative for the future."
Hybrid cars are comparatively far more expensive than regular cars depending on the subsidies that they are eligible for, but are extremely fuel efficient than normal fuel-run cars. Through NEMMP, the central government expects a 23,000 crore investment and will be spending a major chunk on demand creation by offering subsidies on the cars.
On the scenario of hybrids in India, Kouji Toyoshima said, "If it happens, it could be a smart solution for Indians, who are smart."
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