Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 8th 2015 Contents OCTOBER 8 • 2015 www.guardian.co.tt BUSINESS GUARDIAN
NEWS | BG7
Sales manager of Toyota T&T
Limited Jean La Foucade
expects competition in the
new car market to accelerate
now that the company has
launched two more hybrid
vehicles. The newly introduced hybrids are
the 1.5L Prius C which sells for $220,000 and
1.8L Prius at $320,000.
Hybrids have two type of engines---the con-
ventional combustion engine with fuel tank
and an electric motor with battery pack.
La Foucade, in an interview with the Busi-
ness Guardian at Toyota s Barataria headquar-
ters, said auto manufacturer s hybrid vehicles
are popular globally, particularly in the United
States where the hybrids are marketed as envi-
ronmentally friendly vehicles. He said demand
for such vehicles is now developing locally as
the consumers are becoming more aware of
the need for them.
La Foucade said Toyota s hybrid vehicles
have been in the T&T market for more than
five years, starting with the $499,000 2.5L
Toyota Camry and the 3.5 L Toyota V6 Lexus
which sells for $890,000.
He said brand loyalty for Toyota in the T&T
market means that cost will not be a hindrance
to motorists purchasing any of the company s
He said the import duty is the main reason
for the increased cost of Toyota s hybrids as
it is calculated on a percentage base. Other
contributors to the increased cost are the motor
vehicle tax and VAT which tends to be around
La Foucade said one of the key features in
the Toyota hybrids is the "start and stop" igni-
He explained: "With your starter motor (in
a regular vehicle) when you start you need
fuel which will go into the engine, causes com-
bustion and that s what actually turns over
the engine. You need fuel again. But with the
start and stop feature you start off (using) the
motor generator so there is no fuel needed,
that s one aspect of it.
"The second aspect is the regenerative brak-
ing system. You burn most fuel in stand-still
traffic, because of the stop and go. The fuel
in conventional engines goes into the cylinder,
the cylinders opens up, the fuel goes in, that s
how you move."
He said special features in hybrid vehicles
limit the amount of carbon dioxide emissions
and this is a big selling point for those vehicles.
However he pointed out, not all hybrids are
"There are four types of hybrid engines.
There is the plug in, which is one where you
must have an actual outlet to plug in the vehi-
cle to charge the battery. That mainly runs
off the electricity which we (Toyota) don t
have. Our systems would not allow it because
it is a different voltage and T&T is not ready
for that yet."
He added: "What we have in our hybrid
vehicles is the series parallel. The series parallel
has two elements which are the conventional
engine with gas and the electrical motor. The
two elements both feed into the transmission
and this is where the synergy system comes
in. They both feed into the transmission via
This means that the motorist, at any one
time, can be utilising the motor in the hybrid
car versus using gas or vice versa.
"If it is you are moving on your electric
motor alone, it is limited to a certain speed,
that s a safety thing. Let s say you are driving
between 40 and 60 kph you could be driving
with your electric motor.
"What will happen is that the battery will
die and the engine will kick in. It takes half
and hour for the battery to regenerate and
once the battery is regenerated, it goes back
into electric mode again. Basically, if it is you
fill up your engine with fuel, depending on
your drive style, you may not have to fill up
for a next month and a half, depending."
La Foucade said the synergy system in
hybrid cars "increases your horsepower
because you now have two working as one,
because it incorporates two engines into one.
It enhances the performance of the vehicle."
Asked about servicing, he said: "The use
of the vehicle is not like your conventional
engine where it s constantly on. Servicing
comprises oil changes within three-month
Toyota goes the hybrid route
While the Central Bank expects an almost two per cent
contraction of the T&T economy for the first half of this year,
data from the Central Statistical Office (CSO) suggests there
might be marginal growth for the period of 0.2 per cent. The
CSO s more optimistic projection is premised in the continued
positive performance of the non-petroleum sector, offsetting
recent declines in the petroleum sector.
The Review of the Economy 2015, one of the supporting
publications for the 2015/2016 National Budget presented by
Finance Minister Colm Imbert on Monday, shows that the
non-petroleum sector has been posting average annual growth
of 2.3 per cent since the 2008/2009 global financial crisis.
The sector is expected to account for 64.7 per cent of real
gross domestic product (GDP) this year, up from 63.4 per cent
The report states: "The services sub-sector is expected to
continue to be the main catalyst of economic activity and is
projected to contribute 56,23 per cent to real GDP 2015, slightly
up from its 54.9 contribution in 2014.
However, a 3.4 per cent contraction in the petroleum sector
is expected due to lower output in exploration and production,
refining, petrochemicals and asphalt productions. That sector s
contribution to GDP is expected to decline to 34.9 per cent---
down from 36.2 per cent last year.
According to the report, the government s overall fiscal oper-
ations are projected to realise an overall deficit of $7,013.7
million or 4.2 per cent of GDP.
Total revenue and grants is estimated at $54,803.6 million
or 32.7 per cent of GDP of which tax revenue of $47,286.6
million continues to be the major component.
JEAN LA FOUCADE
Sales manager, Toyota T&T Ltd.
CSO data shows 0.2 per cent economic growth
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