Toyota’s head of China operations, Hiroji Onishi said that the company will be launching plug-in hybrid vehicles in the Chinese market by 2018 in order to take advantage of the subsidies that Chinese consumers get when they buy all-electric battery cars and near-all-electric cars. These subsidies can be as high as USD 17,500 (114,000 yuan) for highly electrified vehicles and they are also exempt from license plate restrictions. Onishi made this announcement in the runup to the Beijing Auto Show. He went on to state that the company’s decision to launch plug-in hybrid versions of the Levin and the Corolla in the Chinese market highlights its commitment to grow in China. He did not preclude the possibility of manufacturing these vehicles locally.
Matsumoto Shinichi, executive vice president of Toyota’s local engineering and manufacturing unit had recently said that the company has plans to introduce the hybrid version of its SUV, the RAV4 in the Chinese market.
Chinese officials have not been very receptive to the technology that Toyota and other Japanese companies have used in their domestic market as it is keen to support local manufacturers. As of now, buyers of Japanese hybrid vehicles do not receive subsidies or incentives. According to Shinishi, Toyota will be working on cars that can meet the criteria set by the Chinese government to receive subsidies.
In spite of the lack of subsidies from the Chinese government, there is huge demand for these brands. Toyota received orders for 40,000 units and its factories have not been able to meet the demand. All the Japanese companies including Toyota, Nissan and Honda sold more than one million vehicles in China in 2015 for the first time.
Manju Mathew, an MBA in marketing, completed publisher training courses from the Oxford Brookes University and New York University. She started with marketing and PR roles before moving on to her current position as a full time writer. Currently living in Dubai, her life as an expat has sharpened her observation skills and flair for writing. She enjoys writing about luxury cars like Ferrari, Lamborghini, etc even if she can only dream of owning them.
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