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Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Toyota’s the hybrid chief. So the place are its hybrids?

The brand new Toyota LandCruiser Prado, aka the LandCruiser 250 Collection, has been revealed with a brand new turbocharged hybrid powertrain.

It’s conspicuously absent from the corporate’s native particulars, although.

As an alternative, Toyota Australia will stick to a diesel-only line-up. Does diesel nonetheless promote on this phase? You guess. However ought to Toyota be strolling the stroll on hybrids throughout its line-up? Completely.

Embarrassingly for Toyota, which put hybrid expertise on the map in Australia, it’s set to be crushed to market with a hybrid off-roader by GWM.

Not solely that, GWM is ready to introduce a hybrid ute by the top of the yr, and but there’s no hybrid HiLux to be seen – there may be one with a 48V mild-hybrid system, however Toyota is properly avoiding calling it a hybrid.

There’s a hybrid model of the brand new, left-hand drive-only Tacoma, whereas to Toyota’s credit score it has all however confirmed the hybrid Tundra for a neighborhood launch. And but GWM can have two, doubtlessly three body-on-frame, hybrid-powered automobiles inside the subsequent 12 months, and Toyota appears to be like set to have maybe one.

This is similar firm that was sluggish to introduce its hybrid crossovers in Australia.

It had a hybrid model of its Kluger/Highlander all the best way again in 2005, nevertheless it took till 2021 for one to look right here. The RAV4 Hybrid, which accounts for the lion’s share of RAV4 gross sales, was launched with the fourth-generation mannequin overseas however solely appeared right here with the present, fifth era.

It’s baffling as a result of hybrids now account for a major chunk of Toyota gross sales in Australia, to the purpose the place ready lists are blowing out.

Final yr, hybrids accounted for 67 per cent of Kluger gross sales, 75 per cent of Yaris Cross gross sales, 76 per cent of RAV4 gross sales, 77 per cent of Corolla Cross gross sales, and 80 per cent of Camry gross sales.

Ought to the HiLux, Prado and LandCruiser 300 Collection acquire hybrid choices right here, we would count on these take charges to be a bit decrease – significantly if they will’t match the towing capability of the equal diesel fashions.

Nevertheless it’s fully doable that, as the advantages of hybrids are recognised in these segments, take charges may enhance quickly.

There are additionally looming federal emissions requirements, presaged by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries’ voluntary commonplace. Hybrid variations of huge diesel Toyotas may assist drive down emissions for Australia’s new automobile parc, given Toyota’s juggernaut standing Down Below.

Alas, by bringing the Prado right here solely as a diesel, Toyota is lacking out on the chance to indicate a completely new phase of consumers how a fuel-sipping hybrid – the identical expertise it loudly touts as serving to deliver down emissions – may work for them.

As an alternative, it’ll be GWM – a model that launched its first hybrid in Australia solely round a yr in the past – which can be serving to to pave the best way for market acceptance of huge hybrid utes and SUVs.

Not solely may GWM find yourself main in these hybrid segments with the absence of a direct rival from Toyota, it may siphon off gross sales – together with different manufacturers like Honda and Nissan – from the segments through which Toyota does already supply a hybrid, significantly if provide shortages proceed to chew.

Oh what a sense.

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