After Corolla Cross’ success, Toyota C-HR is now a hybrid-only model in Thailand
Hans · Apr 26, 2021 11:19 AM
Following the success of the Toyota Corolla Cross, the Toyota C-HR will is now taking a backseat in Thailand, the largest market in South East Asia for the controversially-styled Toyota compact SUV.
Previously, the Thailand-assembled Toyota C-HR was available with two powertrain options – a 1.8-litre naturally aspirated 2ZR-FBE Dual VVT-i (B for E20 bio-ethanol fuel compatible, otherwise similar to Corolla Altis’ 2ZR-FE) paired to a CVT-type automatic, and a 1.8-litre hybrid 2ZR-FXE paired to a planetary gearset E-CVT.
The former was exported to Malaysia until it was discontinued by UMW Toyota Motor late last year.
Now that the more family-friendly and better received Toyota Corolla Cross is overlapping the C-HR’s price, Toyota Motor Thailand has dropped all non-hybrid variants of the C-HR.
Prices for the Toyota C-HR now range from THB 1,069,000 to THB 1,159,000, versus the Corolla Cross’ THB 989,000 – THB 1,199,000.
Cutting non-hybrid variants make sense because Thailand buyers now overwhelmingly prefer hybrid models, buoyed by lower taxes for low CO2 emitting vehicles.
Hybrids are taxed at between 4 to 13 percent, depending on their CO2 emissions, while regular combustion engine cars are taxed at 25 to 50 percent. Small A- / B-segment eco-cars like the Honda City and Nissan Almera that emit less than 100 g/km of CO2 are taxed at 12 percent.
Thai drivers also pay much higher prices for their fuel. As of April 2021, the price for RON 95 fuel is RM 4.95/litre while RON 91 is at RM 3.47/litre. The more eco-friendly E20 gasohol (20 percent ethanol) blend is priced at RM 3.31. Regular petrol is minimum E10.
The Toyota Corolla Cross is available in 4 variants, 3 of which are hybrids.
Once again, it shows why our government's policy of subsidizing fuels while slapping ridiculously high taxes on cars is becoming a deterrent in getting consumers to migrate to cleaner powertrain technology.
As long as fuel prices remain cheap and taxes on cars remain high, Malaysians will remain stuck with old tech combustion engines used in cheap quasi-national cars, and forever be giving comments like “But the hybrid battery is not reliable and expensive to replace.”