Although Korean automakers are eager to enter India’s EV market, Japanese automakers have chosen to focus on hybrid vehicles as their Indian strategy. Toyota has combined local production, sourcing, and partnerships to reduce costs and increase hybrid sales in the South Asian nation.

Since the Japanese automaker has struggled to sell a significant amount of its hybrid Camry since 2013, despite being known for its Prius, Reuters cited various sources as claiming that Toyota is altering strategy in India and launching less expensive hybrid cars in the price-sensitive region.

Toyota’s tactics, according to Reuters, include introducing a hybrid technology that was initially intended for tiny cars, sourcing Suzuki for affordable chassis and some upper body parts, and launching the full hybrid Urban Cruiser Hyryder as its first new hybrid. A mild hybrid variant of the Hyryder, which makes use of Suzuki powertrains, will also be sold by Toyota. To further reduce costs, Toyota will work with Maruti’s suppliers to take advantage of its size and purchasing power.

On the other side, Toyota has begun manufacturing E-Drive, a vital part of the Toyota Hybrid System (THS) that guarantees seamless switching between the engine and electric motor, at Bidadi, Karanataka. Toyota is shipping E-Drives built in India to Japan and Southeast Asia.

While lithium-ion batteries and power control units must be imported, Toyota manufactures engines in India for the other three crucial parts of the THS.

Hyundai intends to introduce six EV models in India between 2022 and 2028. South Korean automakers have defined their roadmaps for the Indian EV market. In addition to Toyota, Maruti Suzuki, based in Japan, focused on hybrid and CNG vehicles for its green vehicle business in India and delayed the introduction of EVs until 2025.

Masakazu Yoshimura, managing director of Toyota Kirloskar Motor, told PTI that as long as India fully embraces BEVs, Toyota has BEVs and can always offer them in India. The Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for advanced auto components and clean vehicles was announced in March, and candidates include Toyota Industries Engine India and Toyota Kirloskar Auto Parts.

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