Toyota launches 1st eco sedan in Thailand to boost green car sales

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

The "Yaris ATIV" subcompact sedan, released Tuesday, is aimed to leverage its overall sales of eco cars to 7,700 units monthly by year-end, including its first Yaris hatchback eco model launched in 2013 with current monthly sales of over 3,000 units, the company said.

The largest Japanese automaker, which also boasts a leading market share of 27 percent as of June in the second largest car market in Southeast Asia, intends to attract younger generations by setting a price range for the eco sedan starting from 469,000 baht (around $14,000), 23 percent lower than its Vios entry model sedan.

The Yaris ATIV with a 1,200 cc engine, which is subject to the first phase of the government's eco-car incentive scheme, can do 20 kilometers per liter of fuel. It is manufactured at a plant in the central province of Chachoengsao, east of Bangkok.

The Yaris hatchback, also with a 1,200 cc engine, has sold 3,400 units on a monthly average and its accumulated sales reached 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 a monthly sales target for the Yaris ATIV, of 4,700 units domestically while exporting 3,000 units per month to 70 countries.

The ratio of environmentally friendly vehicles sold in Thailand 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, adding that the ratio is expected to reach about 20 percent this year and further grow to 25 percent in the next two years. (NNA/Kyodo)