How has 2022 been for Toyota Kirloskar Motor?
2022 was a big transition stage for Toyota Kirloskar Motor. One of the key reasons is the launch of two strong hybrid vehicles. This is also a step towards mass electrification taking place in India. This will also lead to a reduction in carbon emissions and import bill. When it comes to strong hybrid vehicles, 40 percent of the distance is covered in BEV (battery electric vehicle) mode. These two vehicles are a great achievement for the company.
Two strong hybrid vehicles mean tackling a high demand for new products. How are you managing this?
As I mentioned earlier, last year was a transition stage for us as we had to prepare for the new products. So, when it came to volume, we really couldn’t support it. This year, we will utilize the full capacity of our plant as the demand is very. Actually, the response we have received is a lot more than we expected. Therefore, we are ramping up our production. It will take some time, but we will try to deliver as early as possible.
Toyota is pushing for hybrid technology, but currently, the government isn’t offering any subsidies for it. Do you see that changing soon?
At this moment, no. We are working closely with the government and there is some small tax reduction when compared to gasoline. There is also the PLI scheme, but right now the opportunities are limited. We believe the customer is getting the biggest benefit out of this technology.
Will see this strong hybrid technology introduced in other vehicles in Toyota India’s portfolio?
We are studying the market, the dynamics, and customer preferences and based on that we can expand it. This is an established technology across the world and Toyota has experience in developing it. We are also focusing on the localization of this technology.
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You showcased the hybrid hydrogen technology at the Auto Expo. Do you see it as a viable option in India?
Frankly, when it comes to technology, it’s not a big issue and it can be implemented in India. Our main issue is the infrastructure for hydrogen supply and without government support and policy, it won’t be so easy.