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Hybrids - News, Reviews and Views in the Press



  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,868
    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: 31,112
    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: 3,868
    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.
  • talmy1talmy1 Posts: 55
    OK, I'll give you guys that it is best to compare to the V6 regarding performance, but the cost of the TCH 4 is better compared to the cost of the 4 in the LE rather than the V6.

    And looking at it another way, a purchaser in the market for economy would choose the 4 over the V6 anyway
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Here's the brilliance of this product placement. It's right in the middle between the 4c and the V6. There are a lot of buyers who will not consider a 4c anything since it's 'underpowered'. OTOH most Camry/Accord/Altima shoppers normally don't search for the power of a V6 they only look at the relative economy.

    This vehicle serves both groups and falls right in the middle of the pricing structure of both.
  • tpetpe Posts: 2,342
    As you pointed out, hybrid buyers really aren't placing a big priority on power. With that being the case I wonder how difficult or costly it would have been for Toyota to put the 1.8L Corolla engine in the TCH? It seems that with the supplemental electric drive it would have had comparable power to the 2.4L that's in the standard 4 cyl Camry.
  • tpetpe Posts: 2,342
    I'd seen that article before. The new epa mileage ratings make the hybrids seem less impressive but actually more cost effective. I suspect that is lost on most car shoppers. I'm also very interested in these new diesels that are supposed to start showing up in the US. I've read reports that stated the technology required for them to meet US emission standards has negatively impacted their mpg advantage. If that ends up being the case they wont be as popular as I had originally anticipated.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Merely 49% more hybrids sold in June 2007 than June 2006....

    If that's "cooling off" I wonder what HOT is?
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    My feeling that this is the position of the new Prius trio in about 18-20 months.
    1.5L Prius small sedan
    1.8L Prius hatch Gen 3
    2.4L Prius utility vehicle
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Wait'll GM's hybrids start hitting the market in good volume. Just by its sheer size it should overwhelm whatever small quantity is leaving with the Insight and HAH.

    The HCH is solid as are the FEH and MMH. Add a Sienna hybrid to the mix next spring.
  • tpetpe Posts: 2,342
    If gas prices stay high it will be interesting to see what's available in a couple of years. Most people don't appreciate this point of view but I hope gas prices do stay high.
  • talmy1talmy1 Posts: 55
    OK, the prices are in. They dropped the MSRP of the base by $1000, and it will take $1150 for the "UP" package to restore the missing features. So the effective price increase is only $150. This is only $50 more than the other Camry models, but it still isn't cutting the hybrid premium.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Isn't "cutting" the hybrid premium the same as "reducing" the hybrid premium?
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,868
    larsb -Isn't "cutting" the hybrid premium the same as "reducing" the hybrid premium?

    Is a $150 increase in cost for a car equipped the same as last year a price reduction?
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    does that need an answer?

    We already went over the fact that the "Toyota-brass-ordered" hybrid price and size cut has not been done yet.

    It will happen in the next gen Prius most likely.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,868
    For my needs the CE and TCH are comparable. It fills all of my needs expcept I would prefer higher mileage. The Camry CE in my opinion is one of the best values for a mid/full size sedan. It has more features than LE models of only a few years past. I have absolutely no use for bluetooth and other fluff features that are forced with the TCH, however the increased mpg and lower emissions are valued.
    To obtain higher mpg of the TCH there is a very high price premium charged by Toyota.

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

    $5,580 Hybrid Premium

    $5,580 is the hybrid premium for this buyer, bubba......

    larsb-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....... -end

    Camry CE STD Equipment
    Adaptive Automatic Transmission
    5-Speed Electronically Controlled Adaptive Automatic Transmission With Overdrive
    Power Rack and Pinion Variable Assisted Steering
    Telescopic Steering Column
    Tilt Steering Column
    Independent MacPherson Strut Front Suspension With Coil Springs and Shock Absorbers
    Independent Dual Link Rear Suspension With Coil Springs and Shock Absorbers
    Rear Stabilizer Bar
    12-Volt Battery
    Delayed Power Retention Operates Windows
    2 Front Power Outlets
    Portable Media Player Audio Pre-Wiring
    Braking & Traction
    Front Power 296-mm Ventilated Disc and Rear Power 281-mm Solid Disc Brakes
    Brake Assistance
    Electronic Brake Force Distribution
    4-Wheel Anti-Lock Brakes
    Driver Knee Airbag
    Front and Rear Side Head Curtain Airbags
    Driver Airbag With Dual Stage Deployment
    Seat Mounted Front Side Airbags
    Passenger Airbag With Dual Stage Deployment
    Front and Rear Automatic Locking Retractors
    Front and Rear Crumple Zones
    Front Seatbelt Height Adjusters
    Rear 3-Point Center Seatbelt
    Front and Rear Outboard 3-Point Seatbelts
    Front Pretensioners With Force Limiters
    Side Guard Door Beams
    Trunk Anti-Trap Device
    Anti-Theft & Locks
    Child Safety Door Locks Located On Rear Doors
    Power Door Locks
    Vehicle Anti-Lockout
    Vehicle Anti-Theft Via Engine Immobilizer
    Remote Controls & Remote Releases
    Remote Fuel Door Release
    Cloth Seats
    Driver Manual Lumber Support
    Front Dual Reclining Bucket Seats With Driver Side Manually Adjusts 6-Ways Total, Passenger Side Manually Adjusts 4-Ways Total, Driver Adjustable Seat Height and Adjustable Headrests
    Rear 60/40 Folding Bench Seat With Manually Adjustable Headrests and Fold-Down Armrest
    Covered Lower Console Storage Located On Floor
    2 Front and 2 Rear; 4 Cupholders Total
    Front and Rear Door Mounted Storage
    Lockable Glovebox
    Overhead Console Storage
    Front Dual Seatback Storage Pockets
    Cargo Area Tiedowns
    Exterior Temperature Gauge
    Tire Pressure Monitor
    Maintenance Interval Indicator
    Digital Clock
    Cruise Control
    Warning Lights Include Door Ajar and Electrical System
    Steering Wheel Mounted Controls For Audio
    Interior Lighting
    Delayed Courtesy Light
    Illuminated Entry
    Interior Load Area Light
    Exterior Lighting
    Daytime Running Lights
    Automatic Headlights With Automatic On/Off
    Halogen Headlights
    Entertainment, Communication & Navigation
    In-Glass Radio Antenna
    AM/FM Radio With 160-Watts and 6 Speakers Total; CD Player; MP3/WMA Player
    Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning
    Interior Air Filter
    Manual Air Conditioning
    Interior, Design, Decor & Floor Covering
    Carpet Located In Passenger Cabin and Trunk
    Cloth Located On Doors
    Wheels & Tires
    Compact Spare Tire
    SBRP215/60R16 94V, All-Season Tires
    Steel Wheels, 16-In. X 6.5-In.
    Windows, Mirrors & Wipers
    Dual Color-Keyed Folding Power Adjustable Exterior Rearview Mirrors
    Power Window Lockout/Override
    Power Windows With Driver Side One-Touch Down
    Rear Window Defroster
    Dual Sunvisors
    Intermittent Windshield Wipers
    Exterior, Design, Paint & Finish
    Front and Rear Color-Keyed Bumpers
    Front Air Dam
    Metallic Paint (If Selected)
    Nothing additional needed except higher MPG
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    It's not a premium if the buyer is interest in options which are not available on the car the buyer wants to buy.

    It's a DIFFERENT MODEL of the car.

    Prices have always been higher on better-equipped models of the same car.

    A TCH is simply a "better equipped" version of the Camry.

    For the "better equipment" you get:

    1. higher cost and
    2. the value to the buyer of the additional equipment
    3. higher resale value at trade time.

    You are asking for an option that does not come for the CE model - higher MPG/lower emissions.

    To get that option, you must move up.

    It's no different than wanting a leather/NAV package for a CE car and finding that one of the lower models does not have that option package, so you must MOVE UP the model chain, say to an XLE, to get it.

    To get a hybrid drivetrain and it's associated benefits, you have to MOVE UP the model chain to the TCH.

    That was never called a "leather/NAV premium" in the pre-hybrid days, now was it? It was called stepping up a model or two to get the desired equipment. Nothing has changed - to get the hybrid option, you need to step up in the model chain.

    Someday, Toyota and others will offer "hybrid option" in multiple models of a car line. They don't yet. A hybrid costs more because you GET MORE just like you GET MORE when you buy the leather/NAV option on an XLE.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Here is a summary list of hybrid crash test ratings.

    Those driving the TCH will be happy to see it as the #1 car on the list.

    Hybrid Crash test Star Ratings
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    "Mercedes has 4 fine 2007 diesel options available today at a dealer near you."

    Not in CA or the other CARB states.
  • talmy1talmy1 Posts: 55
    Toyota only has the capacity to manufacture a certain number of TAH's per year, limited by the availability of the hybrid components. They could make a Hybrid CE just as readily as the current Hybrid LE or (in 2008) XLE. And they could make more base TAHs available instead of having maybe 90% fully loaded.

    But as long as Toyota can sell every $30,000 TAH they can build, they don't have any reason to produce $23,000 CE TAH models.

    The stratification of models, CE, LE, XLE, is just a marketing game. There is no reason that the couldn't have just one model with all the options (including Hybrid) available on that one model.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,868
    from Washington Post Warren Brown- As for gas-electric hybrids, they are just one answer for better fuel economy, and not the best answer at that. Diesel-electrics and other electric/fuel combinations are substantially more efficient. In fact, if your company wanted to save money, gasoline, and tailpipe emissions, a better investment might have been in Honda's excellent fleet of compressed natural gas Civics. That way, your company would not have the battery disposal problem. Nor would it have the battery obsolescence problem. Your Priuse uses ancient nickel metal-hydride batteries,which soon will be supplanted by more efficient lithium ion and lithium polymer batteries. Glad the nickel metal hydride packs last eight years. After they die, both they and the current generation of gas-electrics will be next to worthless.

    CNG Civics are not sold nationwide so would not be option for all.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,868
    Two Wrongs and a Right about Energy

    The second matter has to do with the deification of the Toyota Prius gas-electric hybrid car as the answer to our fuel-economy problems. I've often commented that Prius praise primarily is puffery -- more hype than anything else. It is not that I dislike hybrid automotive technology. I strongly support it. But I reject the silver bullet mentality, the idea that the Prius is the only answer and that all other car companies that don't fall in lockstep with Toyota are fuel-economy laggards.

    There are myriad other alternative propulsion technologies and fuel systems. It makes little sense at this point to anoint one at the expense of developing the others. And so I congratulate columnist Robert J. Samuelson for knocking "Prius politics" in his op-ed column in The Post (July 25). Prius frenzy isn't about saving the world. It's about showing off, not curbing greenhouse gas emissions," Samuelson wrote.

    What do you think?

    I believe in the multiple technology approach. There are many correct answers, not ONE answer.
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