• Jul 21, 2007
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.

[Source: Auto News (subscription req'd)]


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  • 45 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Toyota cut the price to compete with the federal tax credit loss, just as they did for the Prius. They don't want customers to think about losing out on the tax credit.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Smart move. Hybrids need to be approachable to the masses. This brings it more in line. Also, title to this subject is yellow journalism. Camry Hybrid sales are NOT waning at all. Here in SoCal, they are selling very strong. This story is simply a matter of Toyota offering a base model hybrid. Nothing more. PS, I am a taker for Auid's 3.0 diesel, bring it here!
      • 7 Years Ago
      I am a huge fan of diesel. Not to mention became more performance orientated than ever with the Audi R8/R10, Peugeot 908 HDI and now the WTCC SEAT.

      If you wanna save money and gas, buy a diesel. If you wanna save the environment, ride a bike or take the bus.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Gm of Ford "trim" prices and its the end of the world.
      Toyota "trims" prices and its a genius business move.

      What's that all about?

      And by the way Toyota fell behind GM in global sales last quarter.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Edmunds says that the MSRP of an automatic 4 cyl Camry is $19520.

      $6340 buys a lot of gas, even at $3 a gallon.
        • 7 Years Ago
        @mike: no, i see combined averages between 36-38 mpg, constantly - so while it feels quicker then my passat TDI, it's real world mileage is spot on

        @dave: what about customers like me who only entered the toyota dealership to look at the hybrid camry? People ask occasionally what the price difference is and i chuckle, never having an interest in the base or v6 model I don't care - I'd wager there are more green sorts of buyers wanting a car which comfortably transports four adults while providing a reduced carbon footprint and substantially better in town MPG for the sheer convenience of not filling up but once a month.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Yes, toyota built this hybrid, really, not to push mpg?!?

        4cyl 2.4 liter: hp: 158 torque: 161
        hybrid: hp: 187 torque; 199

        Did toyota "tune" the hybrid to be the "hot" performer, rather then the MPG Monster?
        • 7 Years Ago
        No no, I got that, I'm just articulating there are some odd eco-nuts who want to reduce or offset their carbon footprints (huge movement everywhere else in the developed world but here) and are accounting for sales which wouldn't normally have been there for toyota. Had the hybrid camry not been on the market, I would have simply waited for the next iteration of the passat tdi... well, actually no, the emissions bar on the sticker, even with the new diesel tech, isn't something i'm happy accepting for greater economy.

        I realize wholeheartedly that buyers like myself are in the minority, though my experiences with the hybrid camry caused me to rethink an Audi Q7 purchase, I'm currently waiting on an order for the next gen hybrid highlander (same reasons as the camry). Thus toyota's sold one car and will sell another to an ardent german car fan.
        • 7 Years Ago
        @Erik

        Don't get me wrong. I never said the market for the car was nonexistent.
      • 7 Years Ago
      BeetleGo,

      Show me some actual numbers regarding biodiesel instead of just handwaving. Take a look at the claimed reduction and numbers of various pollutants at http://www.biodiesel.org/pdf_files/fuelfactsheets/emissions.pdf and compare to the emission limits I postd earlier.

      Notice there's an increase in NOx emissions? Read http://www.epa.gov/air/urbanair/nox/hlth.html regarding NOx.

      BTW, if you care about the engine and emissions warranty on your car, you shouldn't be running more then 5% biodiesel (B5) and only from approved sources meeting petroleum industry standards. VW unfortunately removed the statement from their web site but still refers to B5 at http://www.vw.com/vdubopedia/en/us/html/detail_71.html.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Nobody here in the U.S. cares much about emissions.

        It's fuel economy for U.S. consumers.

        There will be many 50-state approved diesels arriving here over the next couple of years.

        Drivers will look at the reviews of the new diesels and gas-electric hybrids and buy what gives them the best mileage.
      Bryan
      • 7 Years Ago
      I don't see how people can buy Camry's in the first place let alone the hybrid version. They are so hideous with a weak interior. Of course I just described every Toyota...
      • 7 Years Ago
      "....Toyota eliminated standard items like the JBL audio system, leather steering wheel and shift knob."
      Gee, the Toyota Camry Hybrid must be a challenge to drive, especially without a steering wheel.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Same ole crap, Toyota's a media powerhouse, they can do no wrong so they make everyone think a hybrid is the deal, thankfully then a few figure out gas is $3 a gallon instead of $10 and someday this thing is going to breakdown and you are going to get a bill that is spectacular if you can find someone to work on it, thank god nobody I know would drive one of these things, thats making a statement and for those of you who don't know its that you aren't as stupid as Toyota hopes you are.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Sure, they'll break down, but at least on the Prius (not sure about the HyCam), the HV battery is warranted for 10 years/150K miles in Cali and a couple other states. http://john1701a.com/prius/owners/jesse3.htm is at 285K miles on his previous gen Prius on the original battery.

        http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=8046 went 248K miles on a current gen Prius in 24 months.

        Your post is a just a bunch of misinformed FUD.

        Buying a hybrid doesn't need to be ONLY about saving $. The tax credit (when it was the full amount) certainly helped esp. on the Prius. How about recapturing and repurposing energy that otherwise becomes useless brake dust and heat? How about getting longer brake pad life? (many Prius owners have gone 100K+ miles on the original pads) How about emitting less CO2 and pollutants into the air? How about not needlessly running an internal combustion engine (ICE) while idling and not propelling you. How about using less of a non-renewable resource, much of which comes from volatile regions or countries that don't like us much?

        How much $ does a V8 engine or sunroof save you? They don't save $. Why does having a hybrid HAVE to save you money?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Two Words: Diesel Hybrid
      or
      Three Words: Plugin Diesel Hybrid

      Hybrids are nice in larger cars, but, a cheaper alternative is to Just Use a Smaller Engine?
      Camry V6 : 22/31 6 spd trans
      Camry I4 : 24/33 5 spd trans
      Camry Hbrid: 40/38 CVT

      Notice, that the 4 cyl's don't get the 6 speed, making the V6 mpg look "Not So Bad After All" ( Marketing ).

      But, on the question of diesel vs. hybrid.
      Diesel: simpler tech to get a big mpg boost,
      but, that money goes to the Middle-East.
      Hybrid: you don't spend the money on Gas,
      but, you do spend it on a battery, that money goes to Japan, a good ally.
      - Convertible to Plugin
      - Solar Arrays are continuing to get Cheaper and More Efficient. At some point you will be able to power-up from your roof.




        • 7 Years Ago
        Last chart I saw, we got just 11% of our oil (19% of imported oil) from Middle Eastern countries. Less that most think. 50% comes from western hemisphere nations like Canada.

        Switching to diesels, other auto technologies, reducing use of oil for heating, power generation, increased oil prodution domestically, etc, could zip that right down to near zero.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I think the combination of not-as-good-as-its-advertising MPG and the fact that hybrid buyers are moving from early adopter to mainstream is what is affecting the hybrid market.

      Most hybrid buyers wanted to make sure everyone else knew that their vehicle was a hybrid. Hence the success of the Prius, which of course, is sold solely as a hybrid. Call it conspicuous hybrid consumption.

      This really isn't a price cut, per se. It is a de-contenting to make the base MSRP look lower. I would focus on ATP of the total vehicle. My guess is that that hasn't changed one bit.

        • 7 Years Ago
        >> Most hybrid buyers wanted to make sure everyone else knew that their vehicle was a hybrid.

        So, you think that the Prius's 10+ mpg Better then any other competitor had Nothing to Do with it?

        My guess, is people suck it up and buy the Prius "In Spite of the Looks".

        It's a car that says: F-U-Osama.
      • 7 Years Ago
      lol they don't have to pay for any price cut... all they are
      doing is stripping it down.
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