Very soon, Toyota Kirloskar Motors Limited (TKML) will begin assembling the Camry Hybrid at its Bidadi plant near Bangalore. The assembly will happen from CKD kits, making the Camry Hybrid the first hybrid car to be assembled in India. The Camry Hybrid comes with a 2.5 liter petrol engine and an electric motor. Together the two power plants generate about 200 Bhp.
The car delivers an ARAI certified fuel efficiency figure of 19.16 Kmpl, which is very good for a sedan of its size. Toyota India seems to be targeting the Camry Hybrid at the chauffeur crowd and the luxurious rear seat with recline function is proof of this. While the good mileage of the Camry Hybrid makes it a good alternative to diesel sedans like the Volkswagen Passat and the Skoda Superb, the fly in the ointment will be the price at which the car will be priced at.
Estimates doing the rounds quote about 32-35 lakh rupees as the ex-showroom price for the Camry. At this price level, the Camry will hit the 40 lakh rupee mark on the road. So, despite its diesel engined car like fuel efficiency, there might not be too many takers for this hybrid car. Toyota eems to be merely marking its presence with the Camry Hybrid. The Camry is also available with a regular petrol engine.
The Japanese car maker is hoping that the Indian government announces subsidy on hybrid cars under the Nation Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP) 2020. The NEMMP is said to dole out subsidies worth 13,000 crore rupees for the development and manufacture of hybrid and electric cars. But, the policy is yet to see the light of the day. So, once the NEMMP 2020 kicks in, the price of the Camry Hybrid could become more attractive. Until then, Toyota might have to be content with the Camry Hybrid being a slow seller, just like the Prius Hybrid.