Toyota GB raises hybrid status
23 March 2012
Author: Hugh Hunston
Hybrid models will form a "significant and growing part" of Toyota GB's business car plans, encompassing both the Toyota and Lexus brands.
Outlining the joint strategy, Toyota GB's managing director, Jon Williams, said rising diesel prices and the "BIK imperative" would result in "steady growth in the hybrid factor predominantly through our corporate business, which is a big part of our plans".
He added: "This is a key area of our business in terms of the future growth for both brands. Our fleet message will be redoubled. We are investing a lot to develop the 68 business centres within Toyota's network and the equivalent 48 Lexus corporate centres."
The hybrid factor will be intensified this year with the Yaris hybrid arriving in June plus the plug-in Prius and Prius Plus seven-seater MPV due from July, along with the new Lexus GS450h.
Williams said capital write-downs on hybrids appealed to firms, and that "BIK improvements are like salary increases, and more disposable income attracts corporate drivers.
"We are highlighting that despite more sophisticated technology, hybrids are cheaper to run. This translates to a saving of £651 in SMR costs for a hybrid compared with a 1.4-litre diesel Auris counterpart over three years and 36,000 miles."
He forecasted the Yaris hybrid, with a 79g/km CO2 rating and 81mpg figure, has "great potential with NHS staff and the public services courtesy of its £25 BIK, 20% tax banding, and a general move down to B-sector. Plus we benefit from growing take-up of automatic cars in metropolitan areas and all our hybrids are automatic."
He added:?"The plug-in Prius, with its 49g/km and 5% BIK banding, is another opportunity with a charging cycle of just 90 minutes and a 15.5-mile electric-only range. By the end of this year all our Toyota outlets will have charging facilities."
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