Business / Corporate

Toyota launches first eco-sedan in Thailand to boost green car sales

Nna/kyodo

Toyota Motor Corp. has unveiled its first environmentally friendly sedan model to be sold in Thailand, part of a bid to boost its green vehicle sales on the back of growing demand for eco-cars in the local market.

The automaker hopes the Yaris ATIV subcompact sedan, released Tuesday, will raise its overall sales of eco-cars to 7,700 units monthly by year-end. The target includes its first Yaris hatchback eco-model — launched in 2013 — which currently sees monthly sales of over 3,000 units, the company said.

The automaker, which also boasts a leading market share of 27 percent as of June in the second-largest car market in Southeast Asia, hopes to attract younger generations by setting a price range for the eco-sedan starting from 469,000 baht(around ¥1.54 million), 23 percent lower than its Vios entry model sedan.

With a 1,200 cc engine, which is subject to the first phase of the government’s incentive program for eco-cars, the Yaris ATIV can achieve a fuel economy of 20 kilometers per liter. The model is manufactured at a plant in the central province of Chachoengsao, east of Bangkok.

The Yaris hatchback, also with a 1,200 cc engine, averages monthly sales of 3,400 units and has sold around 150,000 units from October 2013 through July this year, making it the best-selling model in the passenger car segment in Thailand for the past three years, according to the company.

Toyota Motor Thailand Co. has set monthly sales targets for the Yaris ATIV of 4,700 units domestically and 3,000 units for export to 70 countries.

The proportion of vehicles sold in Thailand that are environmentally friendly jumped from around 2 percent of the total in 2010 to 15 percent in 2016, said Vudhigorn Suriyachantananont, executive vice president of Toyota’s local unit. The figure is expected to be about 20 percent this year and see further growth to reach 25 percent in the next two years, he added.