Toyota faces a marketing problem when it comes to Hybrid Vehicles

May 10, 2019 | Same topic: Automotive Industry Updates
Due to the massive popularity of EV cars, Toyota is undoubtedly facing an uphill battle when it comes to market with hybrid vehicles.

Now despite being initially very popular especially in the United States, Toyota’s hybrids are in fact having a bit of popular trouble when it put up against electric vehicle models of the now industry dominant Tesla.

Back in the 90’s Toyota was a pioneer in hybrid vehicles. It’s a technology that utilizes both electric motors and combustion engines to provide a very efficient, economical and of course environmentally sound power solution for transportation.

In 1997, Toyota introduced the Toyota Prius to the world and as such, it made the company an industry leader. By 2025, Toyota has expressed intention to further develop its hybrid technologies and to expand its usage among its existing models both from Lexus and Toyota.

Toyota Prius Hybrid

Toyota Prius Hybrid: First Toyota Hybrid generation

However, as we’ve said above, hybrids may be fighting a losing war against fully electric vehicles in terms of marketing as EV’s today, thanks to Tesla are more attractive to consumers more especially to the younger folk out there.

Tesla EVs are also really very popular among car enthusiasts because of their impressive torque figures which your run of the mill day to day Toyota hybrids are yet to provide.

For years, Toyota has refused to invest in all-electric vehicles and instead have focused on continuing to develop more hybrids and plug-in hybrids. Tesla, Nissan and other major vehicle manufacturers, on the other hand, are well on the way to perfecting their fully electric models.

>>> Refer to our Toyota Cars for sale section to look for your suitable Hybrid vehicles. 

Toyota Hybrid corolla

Toyota Corolla Hybrid

At the Geneva Auto Show, a Toyota official said that their company is able to make batteries for 28,000 EV’s every year and those are enough for 1.5 million hybrid cars.

So this means that Toyota indeed DOES NOT have a competitive capacity in producing batteries and can only make enough for the aforementioned number. In the automotive world, 28,000 vehicles is a drop in the bucket.

Despite this, Jack Hollis, General Manager of the Toyota Division at Toyota Motor North America admits that he himself understands that EVs are unique and different. Despite this, Hollis has also expressed that he’s not sure yet why fully electric vehicles are getting all this interest from consumers.

A picture of Jack Hollis a Toyota marketing exec

Toyota North America's Jack Hollis says that Toyota still won't manufacture EV's in the foreseeable future

As of last year, Toyota has yet to see a sensible business case for making and selling a fully electric vehicle and according to reports from Toyota dealers, Hollis believes that selling these vehicles will not be profitable at all. This was expressed a year ago at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show.

What Toyota plans instead for the near future is their expansion in their production of Rav4 Hybrids. In March, the company has shared its plan in moving the hybrid crossover to their plant in Georgetown.

A picture of a Rav4 hybrid model

Toyota will continue on its path of producing hybrids such as this Rav 4 hybrid model

Hollis says that although the crossover’s high fuel efficiency is the key element of the vehicle, he says that he understands that there is a clamoring for more performance.

If the vehicle gives a good performance, people won’t even care that it’s a hybrid. As such he also warns that Toyota and other hybrid manufacturers should not fake it and performance should authentic.

“The only way to sell it is to actually have the acceleration or torque to give you the feeling of something different” Hollis says. As to whether or not that will be the case, we’ll just have to wait and see.

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Cesar G.B. Miguel

Cesar learned how to drive a car years before he got his license. Today, he's still looking for that perfect '90s Japanese coupe to drive into the sunset while listening to Crazy Little Love by Nuage. Also has a thing for badass off-road vehicles and weird engine swaps.