Sunday, January 24, 2016

Interesting View of Prius Through India's Eyes

India's capitol, New Delhi, in an attempt to fight runaway congestion and pollution has implemented an odd/even scheme. Some cars are allowed on odd days and others, even days. Some vehicles however can travel through the city on any day and one class of those vehicles are hybrid cars.

Camry hybrid sales in New Delhi have almost doubled but curiously enough, Prius sales are still slow. Wait. Camry hybrid sales outpace Prius? How could that be?

Well, as it turns out the explanation is quite simple...
“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).
Camry hybrid is actually cheaper than Prius because of import duties.

Curiously enough, Toyota only builds Prius in Japan. While Toyota does build Camry, Avalon and Highlander hybrids here in the US, it does so nowhere else. Which, when you think about it, is interesting. Why only build Prius in Japan.

When the Mississippi plant was built it was originally intended to be a Prius manufacturing site. That changed and while Toyota has flirted with making Prius in the US one time since, TMC/TMS has never followed through on that for one reason or another.

So why is Prius one of India's worst selling cars?

Since the is built outside of India and imported as a finished vehicle the highest rate of vehicle duties applies to Prius. The duty is something 110% of the total cost of the vehicle. So a Prius is vastly more expensive than anything, even partially built in India. Just to give you and idea, and this is a very rough calculation, the current Prius, in whatever form TMC decides to sell in India, should sell for upwards of $70,000 USD in India. No surprise other hybrids outsell Prius there.