Toyota Prius Now In RP -- Finally!

Manila – The world’s bestselling hybrid car finally goes on sale at all major Toyota dealer in the country today. Initiatives to bring the Toyota Prius to the country started three years ago but adaptability to local conditions needs to be trouble-shooted first, such as floods, humidity and bad roads. But these problems have already been addressed, according to Raymond Rodriguez, first vice president for vehicle sales operations of Toyota Motor Philippines Corp. The remaining obstacle in buying a Prius is its price – PhP 2 million ($45,645+) – almost half going to taxes. This is also over twice the amount of the same unit in Japan. Toyota pays three kinds of taxes: import, excise and value-added. But “Once the incentive is introduced, the price may go down,” said Hiroshi Ito, president of Toyota Philippines. He told mediamen during the pre-launch conference that the local auto industry has already petitioned the Department of Trade and Industry for incentives but the government keeps ignoring it. The Prius runs on either or both gas and electricity. A total of 1.7 million units of hybrid cars have been sold – and they have prevented the emission of an estimated 9 million tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. 70% of that 1.7 million hybrid cars are Prius, said Ito. Despite the lingering effects of the aftermath of the global recession, today “Is always a good time to introduce an eco-friendly product, especially now that there is greater awareness on environmental preservation,” said Rodriguez. Photo courtesy of This story originally appeared in