The Hindu Business Line

Toyota hopes Camry Hybrid will power electric car sales to pre-GST levels

- NANDANA JAMES

Toyota Kirloskar Motor is aspiring for pre-GST level of hybrid electric car sales of more than 1,000 units a year with the Camry Hybrid Electric Vehicle, said N Raja, Deputy Managing Director.

In 2018-19, the company sold 400 Camry Hybrids of which 197 were the new version launched in January. Its total sales during the fiscal was 1,50,525 units.

Globally, Toyota has sold around 12-13 million hybrid electric vehicles since 1997, when it launched Prius. “Hybrid electric vehicles contribute a lot towards fuel efficiency and (reducing) pollution. If you look at the 12-13 million cars, we have reduced 94 million tonnes of CO2 emissions,” Raja told BusinessLi­ne.

On how the company is planning to achieve the growth in sales of HEVs, Raja said that the Camry Hybrid Electric Vehicle or self-charging electric vehicle has already crossed 500 bookings, along with a three-month waiting period.

He said that customers are more aware and appreciati­ng the eco-friendly Hybrid technology. “We have strived to create an unmatched combinatio­n of dynamic performanc­e, fuel efficiency, low emissions... the adoption of Toyota New Global Architectu­re (TNGA) has vastly improved its build quality, comfort and fun-to-drive characteri­stics. We believe customers will continue to acknowledg­e the value propositio­ns that the product offers,” he said.

Toyota launched the Camry Hybrid in India in 2013. After the roll-out of GST in July 2017, the total tax on hybrid electric vehicles more than doubled to 43 per cent from 20.6 per cent. This led to a price increase of about ₹5 lakh in markets such as Delhi and a decline in sales.

Bets on e-vehicle

Globally, Toyota accounted for one out of every two cars that were sold in the electric hybrid category last year, said Raja. With a global market share of 43-45 per cent, Toyota has more than 30 models of hybrids or self charging electric vehicles, he added.

Toyota Kirloskar Motor recorded a domestic sales growth of 7 per cent in FY 18-19 over the previous fiscal. Tightening of fund flows owing to the NBFC crisis, higher turnaround time from order booking to retail financing (from 15 days to around 32 days), rising fuel prices, strengthen­ing dollar, a muted festival season, Kerala floods and the crisis in West Asia and the consequent reduction of fund flows were some of the reasons for the dampened growthinth­esecondhal­f of the recently-concluded fiscal, he felt.

The slowdown in the last quarter was particular­ly due to the ongoing election. “Once the government declares elections and the code of conduct comes in, all businesses looking for further growth investment­s or projects wait for the results to come in, to understand how the future direction would be. Considerin­g all these, things are slow,” he said.

Usually, after elections, the market picks up, he said. If the monsoons are good, rural demand will be strong, which would also aid the festival season with increased revenue for the farmers, he said. The other factors that can help aid growth post-elections would be a reduction of RBI rates and clarity on the new government.

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