There’s an all-new Toyota Camry in the Philippines. It now sits atop the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform, which means it comes with a lot of good things to make it better than its predecessor. However, one of the few things that we and the public have noticed is the lack of the hybrid option in its lineup.
To paint you a better picture, the Camry started to get a hybrid version globally in its sixth generation model that was launched in 2006 (XV40 platform). Since then, it has garnered a lot of positive reviews from international motoring media for its fuel-efficiency and all the benefits of having a hybrid system.
Unfortunately, the Philippines is yet to get the hybrid Camry, even now that we’re on the eighth-generation model (XV70) of the midsize sedan.
It’s not hopeless, though, as the Philippine government has started to incentivize manufacturers that bring hybrid vehicles in our country to aid in the promotion of green energy products. To recall, the current TRAIN Law gives 50% reduction in excise tax for the hybrid vehicles.
However, in a press conference after the public debut of the all-new midsize sedan, Toyota Motor Philippines President Satoru Suzuki was eager to give an honest answer to the members of the media when asked if this move by the government is enough.
If I answer straight to your question, we expect more. Because in fact, the current 50% reduction (in taxes) is actually not enough to offset the cost of the push of hybrid products. Of course, we appreciate the current deduction…but the current 50% isn’t enough to set the attractive price for us. We’ll appreciate more if the government could give us more support.
TMP also added that with the current incentive given by the government, bringing in the hybrid Camry would demand a price tag that’s quite higher than the top-of-the-line V variant that sells for P2,007,000 for the Platinum White Pearl color option.
In addition to the government incentive, TMP said that the current demand for hybrid cars is also in consideration. The company isn’t closing its doors to the possibility of a bringing in a hybrid Camry but it will need demand from the market. After all, business is business, and it’s understandable for a company to not invest in something that the public won’t even consider buying.
It’s also notable that the 3.5-liter V6 option isn’t present anymore in the Camry’s lineup. When asked why is this so, TMP said that the choice of powertrain for the executive sedan was studied thoroughly. It turns out that the four-cylinder option is the most applicable engine for the Filipino market with its balance of fuel-efficiency and power, just enough for daily use.
Besides, TMP also pointed out that if a V6 executive sedan is demanded, the customer could turn its attention to the all-new Lexus ES 350 – which is essentially the Camry with a lot more bells and whistles, along with the powerful V6 under its hood. But of course, it comes with a heftier price tag.
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