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Hybrids - News, Reviews and Views in the Press



  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Actually he didn't say anything... all the information we've been getting has been from 'reports in the Japanese press' without attribution.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    OK Gary, he who always has said hybrids are too expensive for the average buyer.....

    The only diesels you can give me are high-priced MBs?

    How is that going to help the diesel cause?

    My point was that the JD Powers study/article said more people in 2007 are interested in diesel as a fuel and fewer people interested in hybrids, but the options are just reversed - there are far more hybrids avail than diesels, RIGHT NOW.

    And the "younger buyers" mentioned in the headline - the 16-25 year old buyers - how are they going to afford a MB diesel?

    Like I said two years ago - for diesel to take off in the USA, other manufacturers besides MB and VW are going to have to offer competitively priced, stylish, modern clean diesel sedans, in both coupe and 5-passenger models, which can directly compete with the long list of available hybrids.

    Until that happens, all these "new buyer intent" studies are just wasted paper.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,850
    Most of the hybrids offered by Toyota are overpriced and not cost effective when compared to gas only. The Prius and TCH being the exception. When compared to the gas versions, Mercedes diesels are better positioned. No they are not for the average buyer. Neither is the HH, RX400h, GS450h & LS600h. If the cheapest Toyota hybrid is sold to the $85k per year demographic, how much do you need to afford the expensive hybrids? Who can justify $65k for a GS hybrid? You can get a great E320 CDI for under $50k. Will the GS450h get 37 MPG on the highway? Will the GS450h get a combined 30 MPG as most E320 CDI drivers are reporting? Most of all can you run any hybrid on 100% homegrown fuel? Mercedes biodiesel

    The article is simply stating that many young buyers have lost interest in hybrids and are now interested in diesel as an alternative. With little new coming out as hybrid and a promise of many new diesels it will give buyers a choice they have not had in the past.

    I look forward to a matchup between an Accord diesel and the Camry Hybrid. The Prius will remain in its own little world. I see Honda putting their effort into diesel and pulling back on hybrids. They tried and lost money. Something Honda does not like to do. Honda is doing very well in Europe with their diesels and will bring that wave of success to the USA.

    And the "younger buyers" mentioned in the headline - the 16-25 year old buyers - how are they going to afford a MB diesel?

    I see many under 25 drivers in Escalades & Denalis with $10k sets of wheels and tires. They can afford most anything living at home with a good job.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    Good news...the Camry Hybrid will now cost less.

    A recent JD Power finding that hybrid popularity is giving way to more interest in diesel powertrains may have some legs to it after all. Even though gas prices have been hovering above $3 for months, Toyota is still trimming the entry price of its 2008 Camry Hybrid by about $1,000. To help pay for the unexpected price drop, Toyota eliminated standard items like the JBL audio system, leather steering wheel and shift knob, Homelink, and electrochromic mirror with compass. $25,860 will now get you a hybrid powertrain plus steel wheels, and a single CD player, which aren't exactly luxury components. Unless the folks from Aichi, Japan have achieved manufacturing efficiencies from increased hybrid output, this could be bad news for Toyota and the many automakers on the precipice of introducing their own hybrid systems.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Like the Prius this may be the signal that they are going to ramp up production and aim for a larger group of buyers.

    Now that they've hit the 1 Million mark in hybrid vehicles I'm certain that whatever developmental costs they had budgeted are now covered. IF that budgeted cost is now extinguished then it flows to the bottom line as profit or it can be partially used to lower the MSRP.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    Plug In Prius

    Want to be the first on your block with a $50,000 Toyota Prius?

    Head to Hybrids Plus in Boulder, Colo., and leave your Prius with their technicians. Go skiing or something, come back in three or four days with a check for $24,000 and you will have one of the nation's very few plug-in hybrids that should easily get 100 miles per gallon.

    A plug-in is an ordinary hybrid with an electric motor and gasoline engine that has been modified -- usually by upgrading its battery pack or adding more batteries -- so it can go a lot farther on electric power than it normally does. On Thursday, a study funded by the Natural Resources Defense Council and a power-industry group lined up behind advocates in dubbing plug-ins the car of the future, albeit the distant future.

    That study said greenhouse gas emissions and domestic oil consumption would drop sharply if plug-in hybrid technology became widespread by 2050. Mass production of the vehicles, however, is years away.

    Still, Bay Area Prius lovers can have their very own supergreen car right now -- for a price.
  • talmy1talmy1 Posts: 55
    Unfortunately, removing $2000 of options (based on LE price list) when dropping the base price by $1000 sure looks like a $1000 price increase to me. The hybrid premium is going up rather than down.

    Since production has been ramping up, we should be seeing a drop in the premium. Maybe the demand is too great so Toyota has no impetus to drop the prices? From what I understand, here in Oregon, the gas Camry isn't the largest selling Toyota -- the Prius is!
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    I have a feeling, only a feeling, that production capacity of the hybrid components may be limited. The Prius gets first shot at them, then the TCH then the HH. just supposition though.
  • tpetpe Posts: 2,342
    $24k is way too expensive. Here's a quote from the CEO of A123 Systems. They are the company developing the battery pack for the Chevy Volt.

    After focusing on fleet testing this year, A123systems intends to market the PHEV conversion modules starting in 2008.

    It will be certified to meet all applicable new car test standards and will be installed by trained mechanics in less than 2 hours, without any changes to the underlying electronics, mechanics or materially useable space of the production hybrid other than the installation of the plug in the rear bumper.

    The applicable market in the US for standard production hybrids will be approaching 1 million through the course of this year. With almost two dozen hybrid models expected by the end of 2008, there will be 5 million standard hybrids on the road by 2010. At an initial 40 mile module installed price of $10,000 supported with a $3,500 tax credit, the payback period for a fleet owner with $3.00/gallon gas is 2.5 years, against an expected life of 10 or more years. The payback period for the average commuter driving 11,000 miles per year would be 5.5 years. These calculations place no value on the net reduction of approximately 100 tons of carbon dioxide and other emissions over the life of the vehicle and take no account of the cost reductions which could accrue from additional materials research and increasing production volumes.
    —David Vieau
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    Less for Less 2008 Camry Hybrid

    Has Toyota achieved cost reduction of hybrid components and is passing the lower costs on to the consumer?

    Nope :blush:
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Remember though:

    A $1000 savings to get into a hybrid is still a $1000 savings.

    Toyota wants to get more people into the hybrid Camry, and lowering the "out the door price" of the base model will help sales.

    I can tell you right now that if my base model 2007 would have been $1000 cheaper without the extra frills it would have made my bank account about $1000 happier and I still would have bought the car.

    Less focus on whizbang and more focus on the awesomeness of hybridology.

    The 50% size and cost reduction Toyota has ordered from the engineers on the hybrid components is not here yet - look for that on the next Gen Prius.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,850
    The problem as I have read it, the new base TCH costs $1000 less and they removed $2000 in amenities. How is that a good deal? Except for Toyota?
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Remember, Gary, that $2000 you speak of is for Toyota MSRP options. Do it yourself and save !!

    Let's see:

    Upgraded stereo from Audio Express: $400
    Leather steering wheel wrap, self-install: $35
    Leather-topped shifter knob, self-install: $40
    Alloy wheels are an unnecessary option. $0

    Total cost to the buyer for "$2000 in Toyota factory options" is about $475, and you save $1000 on the base price over the 2007 model. You are $525 in the Black.

    And Toyota gets to sell more lower-cost hybrids.

    Wait a second - isn't that what people complained about with the HCH: that "Honda "souped it up" with unnecessary options to raise the price and raise their profit? I know for a fact I heard that complaint from the hybrid naysayers about 3 years ago.

    Now Toyota takes the opposite tact and "downgrades" the options and lowers the price and now people complain AGAIN !!!

    You can't have it both ways - you either get a souped up more expensive hybrid or a base model which is less luxury and more value for your $1000 saved !!!!

    Let me repeat myself: The Toyota-brass-ordered "cut hybrid system costs and size" has not yet been implemented. When THAT happens and the price does not go down, let me know.

    P.S. From the Toyota perspective, it probably cost them less than $1000 for the "options" they dropped off the base car. So they come out ahead on the bottom line, get to sell more TCHs, get to say "hey we dropped the price $1000", and the car buyer gets to save at least $500 too. That's known as a WIN/WIN.
  • talmy1talmy1 Posts: 55
    The hidden price increase can be seen by comparing the price difference between the 2007 hybrid and the XLE (closest gas equivalent) with that of the 2008 hybrid and the 2008 LE (closest gas equivalent).

    In our case we canceled a base 2008 we had on order for a 2007 (only available loaded, alas).

    At least around here they don't seem to be having problems selling every one that gets delivered, so no impetus to having a lower-end version for Toyota at all. Why do you think that 90% of the delivered cars have almost every option installed? I expect most of the 2008s will be the same, and will now show a $1000 bump in MSRP over the 2007s.

    Lets see a CE equivalent hybrid for $23,000. That would be the deal for those that can't afford the current TAH.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    quote larsb-
    Now Toyota takes the opposite tact and "downgrades" the options and lowers the price and now people complain AGAIN !!!

    You can't have it both ways - you either get a souped up more expensive hybrid or a base model which is less luxury and more value for your $1000 saved !!!! -end

    No, you can't have it both ways. It is time to compare the Camry Hybrid to the Camry CE when determining the cost premium for the hybrid. Some individuals have persisted in comparing the TCH to the XLE since it was only available with XLE comparable equipment.

    $19,620 Camry CE automatic
    $25,200 Camry Hybrid

    $5,580 Hybrid Premium

    No, you can't have it both ways.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Let's not get crazy......I understand the POWER that the HYBRID PREMIUM has on the NaySayers, but let's not go overboard.

    I went to Edmunds and compared Standard Features on the 2007 CE and the 2007 TCH - the 2008 specs not there yet.

    If you read the article YOU POSTED MOPARBAD, the closest non-hybrid Camry to the TCH is the LE V6, not the low-end CE:

    “The JBL system alone is a $750 option, and the wheels are another $300 when ordered as options on the 2007 Camry LE V6, the closest non-hybrid style to the Camry Hybrid,” said Rosten.

    At the same time, Toyota increased the price of the non-hybrid Camry, the best-selling car in America for several years, by $100 across the board, with no changes in content, putting its starting price of the 2008 Camry LE V6 at $24,260.

    So that means the "hybrid premium" (which is a term I despise even mentioning) sits at a cool $940. And if you add in the $650 Hybrid Tax Credit, it drops to a smidgeonly $290

    To drive my point home better, here are a few things that come standard on the TCH which the CE does not have (and in some cases is not even an option on the CE)

    29 more horsepower
    Deceleration Fuel Cut-Off
    CVT tranny
    Trip Computer
    Traction Control
    8-way Power Driver Seat
    Remote Power Door Locks
    Cargo Net ($34 option for the CE)
    Keyless Ignition
    Dual Zone Climate Control for Front Passenger and Driver

    As the article points out, the closest in equipment to the TCH is the LE V6. So trying to slap a lowly CE into the conversation ain't gonna fly, bubba.......
  • talmy1talmy1 Posts: 55
    The TCH is a 4, and the 2008 is equipped pretty much identically to the LE except for the dual zone climate control on the TCH which isn't even an option on the LE. The best comparison is to the 2008 LE 4 with automatic. This will be $21,075, so the premium is $4,125. If you want to consider the tax credit (I don't think it should be, BTW), the premium is $3,485.

    The 2007 TCH is equipped more like the 2007 XLE, except for the fake wood and reclining rear seats. It's 24,900, so the premium of the 2007 TCH is $1300, much less! If you consider the tax credit, and turn back the clock one year, there was no premium at all!

    The 2007 looks like a much better buy (which is why I canceled my 2008 order and bought a 2007), but it does beg the question -- is the XLE worth $3,825 more than an LE?
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Sure it's a 4-cyl, but with the hybrid drivetrain, it accelerates much more like the LE V6, which is why the writer of the article used that comparison.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    The base TCH is more equivalent to the Base LE not the CE.
    The differences between ICE versions of the CE and the LE are..
    ..keyless remote
    ..power driver's seat

    and as larsb noted there is the traditional $2000-$2200 bump for improved power ( V6 over 4c ). Then there's the fact that you get this power with the fuel economy of a Corolla but the room of a Camry.
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