Toyota Prius Launch Delayed

Friday 21 November 2008, 00:00 AM by Rishi

Toyota has delayed the launch of its hybrid car, Prius, in India for an indefinite period. Prius is the world’s first mass-produced hybrid car from Toyota which is a major Japanese auto manufacturer in the world and the largest auto company by sales. The company has put the vehicle on hold owing to the steep duty structure and inability to fix a competitive price in India.

The company expected to bring its hybrid car in India with a price tag of Rs. 20-22 lakh. However, looking at the glum auto scenario in the country and Honda offering its hybrid car at Rs .13.36 lakh, it has deferred the launch of the car in India for indefinite period. Honda had recently lowered the price of its hybrid car, Honda Civic Hybrid, for a limited period of time. The car was available at a reduced price which was Rs. 8 lakh cheaper than the original price.

Toyota and Honda are the two top manufacturers in the world for hybrid cars and Toyota leads the market since past 11 years. These cars use both petrol engine and electric motor which makes them very eco-friendly and extremely fuel efficient. Toyota and Honda are not capable of producing the cars in India which compels them to import their hybrid models from their home country as Completely Built Units. CBUs attract 114% duty which makes the cars extremely expensive. Toyota feels that Indian customers are yet not ready for hybrid cars in the country and is unsure of the initial volumes.