In a very public brawl between two automotive giants that has been making headlines for months, Toyota Australia has taken another swing at Volkswagen Australia in response to claims the nation is being turned into a dump for third-rate, polluting cars.
In March of this year, Volkswagen Australia Managing Director Michael Bartsch criticized the federal government’s inaction in raising fuel standards following the publication of the Australian vehicle industry’s first emissions results.
“The government is so reluctant to support CO2 reduction targets, car importers are obliged to implement self-regulation,” said Bartsch.
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“Australia is becoming a dump for older and less efficient vehicles.
“Even some of the popular hybrids sold in this country use old tech engines that run on Australia’s standard 91RON gasoline at 150 ppm sulfur – 15 times worse than global best practice.”
Mr Bartsch’s testimony, pointing out that Australia has one of the lowest fuel grades in the entire OECD, also seemed like a not-quite-as-subtle attack on Toyota, which has been selling hybrid-tech cars like the Camry and Prius Australia for 20 years .
Toyota has already defended its moves, but most recently the company’s vice president of marketing Sean Hanley doubled down on Volkswagen.
“Any suggestion that we hold back progress towards better fuel quality is wrong,” he said.
“We would say we are leading this progress towards a carbon neutral society beyond zero, so we definitely play our part and understand very clearly that we have a corporate responsibility to ensure that we keep our carbon footprint reduce as quickly as possible. “practical.”
Mr Bartsch also claims that his company cannot bring any of its new electric vehicles, such as the ID.3 hatch or the ID.4 small SUV, to Australia because the government’s low-emission standards are not creating an incentive for consumers to switch to the new tech.
Mr Hanley countered, saying the truth was that all-electric vehicles would be too expensive for ordinary Aussies at the time.
“My question is, if we were to bring out a fully battery-electric Corolla for over $ 50,000, how many people in the Australian market are really going to be able to afford today?” He said.
“Ultimately, you can bring out any battery electric vehicle that you like to bring in the market, you can bring any fuel cell electric hybrid or whatever, but in the end there is only one group that will ultimately decide whether this technology will be accepted, and that’s the consumers.
“Everyone has the right to be mobile. So we’re saying that battery electric vehicles are of course part of the solution, but not the only solution. We need to bring mobility solutions to market that are affordable, practical, high performing and do what Australian drivers want their mobility solutions to do. “
In Australia, Toyota is currently selling gasoline-electric hybrid versions of its new Kluger, RAV4, Corolla, Yaris and C-HR alongside the Prius and Camry.
Toyota is also expected to launch a hybrid version of its new-generation LC300 LandCruiser by 2024.
Volkswagen does not currently sell any of its electric vehicles, including hybrids, in Australia.