BUSINESS

Toyota Korea releases Prius C hybrid with fuel, price efficiency

By Kim Bo-gyung
  • Published : Mar 14, 2018 - 15:09
  • Updated : Mar 14, 2018 - 15:11
Toyota Korea has rolled out the Prius C hybrid compact car, boasting 19.4 kilometers per hour fuel economy and an affordable price tag of 24.9 million won ($23,400), with aims to bolster its hybrid vehicle portfolio, the company said Wednesday.

Marking the last model of Toyota’s Prius hybrid car lineup, the Prius C was first introduced in Japan in 2011, followed by the US and other countries.

Reaping popularity worldwide, the Prius C hybrid is the Japanese automaker’s second best-selling hybrid model out of 37 hybrids.

“Since its release in 2011 over 1.5 million units of the Prius C have been sold worldwide. It has become a representative hybrid vehicle of Toyota. I believe the car will also be loved in Korea, as it is easy to drive and attractive,” said Nobuyuki Takemura, CEO of Toyota Korea, at a media launch event held in central Seoul.

Targeting younger drivers beginning their careers, Toyota Korea has set a modest annual sales goal to sell over 800 units of the new hybrid.

Toyota Korea also emphasized that the compact car is to be available in 12 different colors and runs on a 1.5-liter hybrid powertrain.

“Only recently did the demand for small eco-friendly vehicles suitable for city driving began rising here. We decided to release the model in line with the trend,” said the spokesperson of Toyota Korea.

Toyota Korea CEO Nobuyuki Takemura (right) poses next to the Prius C hybrid compact car during the launch event in central Seoul on Wednesday. (Toyota Motor Korea)

Prior to the latest launch, Toyota Korea’s Prius hybrid lineup had been made up of the Prius small car, wagon-style Prius V and Prius Prime plug-in hybrid vehicle.

Some 2,500 units of the Prius, the highest selling among the Prius series here, were sold in Korea in 2017, the company said.

Toyota Korea is seeking to continue its increasing sales streak with the latest launch and growing demand for hybrids.

Due to the absence of German carmakers Audi and Volkswagen in the local auto market, Toyota Korea ranked No. 4 in vehicle sales among import carmakers last year.

Toyota Korea sold 11,698 units here in 2017, up 26.3 percent year-over-year, according to data from Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association.

Prius C, meanwhile, has decided to exclude high-tech systems such as navigation, rearview cameras or advanced driver assist systems that are installed in most new vehicles. It also comes in a single trim, the company said.

By Kim Bo-gyung (lisakim425@heraldcorp.com)

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