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Brace yourself India, the hybrids are coming

hybrids in india

Before I go on to writing about the explanation of what the title means, do take into account that this post comes after 10 hours of straight Game of Thrones.

Getting back to the topic at hand. India has typically been averse to anything expensive. It does not matter how critical the thing is. Things like airbags are treated as unnecessary luxury. So given such a market, hybrids are bound to be flops.

And Toyota has experienced this failure with the sales numbers of its Prius. They call it the planets favourite hybrid. Well I guess that India is on a different planet. Jokes apart, the Indian market has been harsh even to vehicles that have been sold in large numbers abroad. So one would assume that Toyota would put their hybrid tail between the legs and run. But did they?

The other realm.

Leave India for a moment. Like in the Game of Thrones series, consider another realm. Called Japan.

Japan has a lot of cars. Something like 591 cars per 1000 people. Indias number lingers lower than 20. And Japan does not have too much space to house all these cars. Parking and congestion are problems to be tackled. In addition to that, the petrol and diesel prices are nearly the same. And they are exensive.

The Japanese market has seen a large share of hybrid cars. And their sales numbers are increasing. The efficiency and the lower emissions make a lot of sense. So people are opting for a larger number of hybrids.

This creates a cycle of sorts.

More hybrids -> cheaper hybrids -> more hybrids

So all in all, hybrids are slowly taking over the market in Japan.

camry hybrid

The first mover and the hybrid throne.

Now consider the Indian market. Its remarkably similar to the one in Japan. In some ways. Let me enumerate the important similarities.

  1. Lot of cars, less roads. India has a growing middle class with desire to own cars.
  2. Petrol and diesel unsubsidised and expensive. Unlike the united states or arab nations, we dont piss out oil. So its bound to be expensive.
  3. People want lower running costs and are willing to pay more for it. The reason why diesel cars sold so much lately.

With these conditions, the Indian market can slowly wake up to the hybrids. Yes its years before they gain popularity. But the fact is that we are very slowly moving there. So what does the worlds largest manufacturer do? Be the first mover!

Toyota is hence working on launching a large number of hybrids in India. The Prius is already here. And now the hybrid camry is on the way.

Toyota the heir?

A new empire is going to be built on the hybrid.

After diesel getting de regulated, its only a matter of time its as expensive as petrol. And then hybrids will be the only cheaper option.

Toyota seems to be leading in the preparation for this. While others are in the today, someone at toyota is thinking ten years ahead. We all will see how this war pans out. But right now, Toyota is leading the pack without a doubt.

 

 

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Ankur Khangaonkar

Entrepreneur, creator, auto enthusiast and philosopher. Connect with me on Google+
 
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