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Toyota to build on rising demand for hybrids;spl focus at Expo


New Delhi :With the odd-even scheme in the Capital spiking demand for its Camry hybrid sedan amid rising concerns over pollution, Toyota Kirloskar Motor is looking to showcase its prowess in automobiles with alternate fuel technologies at the upcoming Auto Expo.

The company which will launch two new vehicles, including the all-new version of MPV Innova, will have a separate zone to display only hybrid vehicles.

“The odd-even scheme had allowed hybrid vehicles on all days. We are seeing a good increase in demand for our Camry hybrid in Delhi. Earlier, we use to sell around 45-50 units but in the first month of this year, it is around 80 units,” Toyota Kirloskar Motor Senior Vice President, Director Sales and Marketing, N Raja told PTI. The company last year sold over 1,000 Camry hybrid sedans in India.

Raja said the odd-even scheme may have resulted in difficulties but it had increased awareness over pollution and it is a good opportunity to highlight eco-friendly, alternate fuel vehicle technologies.

“So this time around at the Auto Expo, we will have three separate zones, one for new models, other for existing vehicles and another one for hybrid vehicles. The hybrid technology is a key focus for us,” Raja said.

He said TKM will display a range of hybrid vehicles, which its parent Toyota has made popular the world over, including the Prius and Corolla hybrid, among others.

When asked if the company would look to manufacture more hybrid models in India to add to the Camry, he said it would depend on government support and demand.

“We are looking at working closer with the government on how to improve hybrid manufacturing in India,” he said, adding that currently the import duty on completely built units of the Prius is very high. While the Camry Hybrid is priced at Rs 32.23 lakh, the Prius is priced at Rs 38.10 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).

Commenting on the ban of registration of diesel SUVs and cars with engines above 2,000 cc in Delhi-NCR, Raja said the company’s popular models Innova and Fortuner have been affected but the company has no plans to tweak the engines like Mahindra & Mahindra has done.

“We are working on having petrol powertrains on these two models. We are asking our parent to support us on that,” he said, adding however that it isn’t likely to come anytime soon as it could “take 10-12 months”.

When asked about sales expectation in 2016, Raja said the industry is likely to grow around 7-8 per cent and TKM would “do better or more or less match it”.


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