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Toyota Bets on Hybrid for Camry in Japan

published: 2011-09-06 16:44

Toyota Motor Corp unveiled a new Camry sedan for Japan, offering it only as a petrol-electric model to jump-start sluggish sales of the model in its hybrid-friendly home market.

The Camry has been the best-selling car in the United States for the last nine years, but Japan accounts for just 1 per cent of the model's global sales due to shrinking demand for sedans in favour of subcompacts or minivans.

For the first time since the Camry's debut in 1982, Toyota said it would limit sales in Japan to a hybrid version, hoping to emulate the success of the Prius, which as a hybrid car enjoys exemptions on certain taxes. Hybrids now make up about 14 per cent of new vehicle sales in Japan, excluding 660cc minivehicles.

'The Camry doesn't sell as much here as it does in the States, so we decided to focus on fuel economy,' said deputy chief engineer Keiichi Yoneda.

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