After a gap of about four months, Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) has resumed the production of the Toyota Camry hybrid. TKM had stopped the Camry hybrid production in India citing higher tax on hybrids under the new Goods and Services Tax (GST) as the main reason.
The Toyota Camry hybrid production resumes after the carmaker had stopped assembling the hybrid Camry due to a sharp decline in sales resulting in excess inventory.
Sadly, the government’s approach of incentivising electric vehicles in India is punishing hybrid vehicles.The GST rollout in July 2017, tax on hybrid vehicles was increased from 30.3 percent to 43 percent. Since the tax rate went up, the Toyota Camry Hybrid price went from Rs 31.98 lakh to Rs 37.22 lakh.
With the price increase, the sales of the Toyota Camry Hybrid reduced from monthly sales of 100 units to 25 units after the GST was rolled out. Commenting on the matter, Shekhar Vishwanathan, Vice Chairman, Toyota Kirloskar Motor, 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.”
With the intention of going all-electric in the future, the government of India had increased the taxation of hybrid vehicles in India. However, the lack of charging infrastructure and an effective strategy has not helped in the development of EVs in India, but hybrids could change that.
“Once you push enough number of hybrids into the market with enough battery manufacturing taking place in India, then the volumes go up. When the volumes go up, the battery cost will come down,” said Shekar Vishwanathan, Vice-Chairman, Toyota Kirloskar. The Toyota Camry hybrid is the first hybrid model from the carmaker to launch in India, which is locally assembled at its Bangalore plant.
The Toyota Camry Hybrid draws power from a 2.5-litre petrol engine which produces 158bhp and 213Nm of torque which is mated to an E-CVT automatic gearbox. The petrol engine is aided by an electric motor which churns out 141bhp. The Toyota Camry Hybrid can run in full electric mode only at low speeds and on mild throttle inputs. Upon further higher acceleration, the system switches to a combination of electric and internal combustion power with a total power output of 203bhp.
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