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Old 02-28-2019, 12:02 AM   #150 (permalink)
It's all about Diesel
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Originally Posted by niky View Post
Remember, I also live in a third world market.
I didn't forget it, but anyway there are different perspectives. Uruguay had been more welcoming for small European cars even when the Philippines were still supplied mostly American cars, before Toyota started flooding the world with its econoboxes.

What I mean is that the Prius C, for its tech and price, is too small.

At the price point we get it at, despite a 50% reduction in tariff versus regular cars, it still costs twice as much as a Yaris. (looking at the US, base price is still double that of a Mirage, even with the bigger tax incentives there).
Just to remind the 3rd-world Yaris is not the same as the Euro/Jap/USDM one, and I'm sure it might reflect in the price difference too.

This means breaking even is an even iffier proposition than with the regular Prius versus something like a Corolla, because small cars already get great fuel mileage.
Sure the buyer of a Prius C is not the same of the Yaris available in "emerging" markets, even though it might be closer to the Yaris buyer in the US, Europe or Japan. But anyway, in such a small car as the Yaris and the Prius C, hybrids seem to be taking over some market share which otherwise would belong to Diesels which are fading away on entry-level cars in Europe.

And there's no fallback on "luxury" or "premium" values with the Prius C, because it's cramped, plasticky and not much better inside than a regular Yaris.
That's why I considered a Yaris hybrid to make sense in case the Prius C gets phased out, unless some buyers are looking for bragging rights as some regular Prius owners are pointed out to do.

A Twingo, a Mirage or a Maruti Suzuki Celerio is actually much more compact, almost as economical (or even more so, in some cases) and costs a fraction of the price.
Nowadays with start-stop and regenerative braking becoming widespread in normal cars too, the main advantage of a full-hybrid on heavy city traffic decreases, that's somewhat predictable. But the buyers of those are not the same as a Prius C buyer, just like you couldn't expect a Smart ForTwo cater to the same folks looking for a Piaggio MP3

It's a similar case to Kei Cars. Sure, the rest of the world would love to have them... but they only work due to tax incentives in Japan. Outside of Japan, the most Kei we will put up with are the Alto (because it's two generations out of date and thus very cheap) and the Jimny (because there's nothing quite like it).
I remember when the Subaru Vivio and some version of the Daihatsu Mira were available in Brazil in the '90s. Even though the Vivio retained the same engine used in Japan, the Mira resorted to a 0.8L one for export markets. But anyway, microvans such as the Suzuki Carry and the Daihatsu HiJet have a broader international appeal, and nowadays DFSK is exporting some of their Suzuki-based microvans even to some European countries, not to mention the Piaggio Porter which is basically a facelifted older Daihatsu HiJet with a bigger engine.

High tech and luxurious Japanese market Keis just can't compete in terms of price with global products.
I see those high-end kei cars as a niche product just like the Smart ForTwo, but I believe they're not so unsuitable to other markets as they might seem at a first glance.
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