The recent hybrid-related announcement in Budget 2011 may have been cheery news for potential hybrid adopters, but here’s where it gets even better, especially for those looking closely at the Toyota Prius.
Toyota Motor Thailand is to begin production of the third-generation Prius hybrid, with the vehicle set for its soft launch on October 21 and its Thai market debut next month. The batteries and engine will be shipped in from Japan for Thai production.
Following the Camry hybrid, the ZVW30 will be TMT’s second locally-assembled hybrid. Thailand is the third country to build the Prius after Japan and China, and the vehicle will be exported to other Asian markets to meet rising demands – the assumption is of course that when Thai exports begin, Malaysia will be taking the Prius from here instead of from Japan.
Potentially, dependent on the Thai-made vehicle’s pricing, this would mean an even cheaper Prius in Malaysia. UMW Toyota is currently in the midst of carrying out a revision on the price of the Prius following the full exemption of the import/excise duty for hybrids. How much the Thai-made vehicle will figure towards the final revised price remains to be seen – we’ll just have to wait and see what the final numbers are.