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By now you should know all there is to know about the 2015 Toyota Camry, thanks to our exhaustive launch report and first impressions review. While the 2.0 litre model boasts a host of upgrades including a brand new engine and six-speed gearbox, it is in fact the 2.5 Hybrid that’s in the limelight.

For not only is it the first hybrid D-segment sedan to officially go on sale in Malaysia, it is also the first Toyota hybrid to be locally-assembled (CKD), allowing it to join the Honda Jazz Hybrid (previous-gen model), Nissan Serena S-Hybrid and Mercedes-Benz S 400 Hybrid in being completely exempt from import and excise duties.

As a result, the Camry 2.5 Hybrid wears a competitive RM174,900 price tag – really not bad considering its high equipment levels (including safety – seven airbags, Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross Traffic Alert), technology, power and efficiency. As such, UMW Toyota expects it to be the bigger seller in the new Camry range by a huge margin – out of the 9,000 Camry units it targets to shift before the year is up, 7,000 are expected to be the Hybrid.

Toyota Camry Hybrid Line Off 2

But the full duty exemption enjoyed by CKD hybrids is set to expire after December 31, 2015, with Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed saying in January that there were no plans to extend the incentives. Still, UMW Toyota is negotiating for an extension, and according to president Datuk Ismet Suki, signs seem good so far.

“We have been in communication with the government and we are positive that the government will entertain our request seriously. The government understands the situation,” Ismet said at yesterday’s Camry launch, adding that without the hybrid incentives, or if the incentives end without extension, the Camry 2.5 Hybrid would probably cost around RM250k – a whole RM75k more than it does now.

The 2.5 Hybrid is the replacement for the 2.5V at the top of the previous Camry range, and Ismet revealed that there are no plans so far to introduce a non-hybrid 2.5 like the one we had before. With the hybrid incentives less than nine months away from expiration, could the decision be swinging in their favour?

2015 Toyota Camry 2.5 Hybrid