Toyota has released a selection of details on its product roll-out strategy as the Japanese automaker looks to move away from its damaged safety reputation and put the focus back on products. Specifically, Toyota wants to recharge its hybrid brand amidst an influx of electric vehicles (like the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf) hitting the market.
An important player in this strategy will be the Prius Plug-in Hybrid, which Toyota aims to price so close to the current Prius that owners won’t think twice about picking it up. Pricing may be as low as $28,000 – undercutting the $32,000 Leaf and $41,000 Volt by a significant margin.
The Prius PHEV won’t get quite the range of the Volt with a 13 mile emissions-free driving distance, but it won’t cost nearly as much either. As a result, Toyota hopes to sell as many as 20,000 of the vehicles in the first year.
Toyota product development boss Takeshi Uchiyamada commented at the product briefing in Detroit that in the future Toyota would like to offer customers the option of a larger and more powerful battery at a increased price.
In addition to the Prius PHEV, Toyota will also look to add six new hybrids models to its global vehicle portfolio. It is not clear at this point how many of those vehicles will be offered in North America.
Also confirmed is a new electric city car, likely based on the iQ, that will hit the market in 2012. Another electric vehicle, a RAV4 crossover, using Tesla battery engineering, may also arrive in 2012.
The RAV4 EV is set to make its first appearance at the LA Auto Show in November.
[Source: Automotive News]