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Toyota urges govt incentives for hybrids

autos Updated: Mar 09, 2011 21:28 IST
Manu P. Toms

When Toyota globally sold three-million hybrid cars, its Indian arm which has sold close to 150 Prius hybrids is keenly watching what the government will do to promote the green and fuel-friendly variety of vehicles.

"Unless there is some kind of government support in terms of customs duty reduction the hybrid car market won't grow in India," Sandeep Singh, deputy managing director, Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) told HT. "The national mission for green vehicles will look into the business model to promote hybrid cars. We are looking forward to it."

Prius will cost Rs 27 lakh in India, including 110% import duty. While it is retailed in US at $23,050 (Rs 10.4 lakh). "We are working with the government. Some want us to start manufacturing of hybrid vehicles in India. But I don't think it is feasible in the near future. We are looking for an import-based model," he said.

Last year, TKM sold 130 units of Prius to embassies and big hotel chains. "Our target this year too is 75-100. We import Prius on orders," Singh said."The market feed back is Indian customers are interested in green technology but are not ready to pay more than 10-25% of the price of the existing models," he said.

Toyota sells 16 hybrid models worldwide and plans to add 10 more by 2012. It aims to sell a million hybrid cars a year. The company claims its hybrid cars reduced CO2 emissions by 18 million tones.