Toyota in €1.7m marketing drive

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Toyota Ireland has spent €1.7m in the past six months on advertising and marketing in a bid to get motorists to switch to hybrid vehicles.

Toyota has also lobbied politicians in a bid to secure Vat relief on company fleets which move over to hybrids as well as an extension of the VRT grant for hybrid vehicles to 2020.

As a direct result of the campaign, Toyota’s hybrid sales up went up by 128 per cent on last year’s figures, with over 1,300 hybrid vehicles sold in the first three month of 2017.

At this point in time, hybrid cars make up a total of 3.5 per cent of the Irish market and that is up from 1.5pc last year. Meanwhile,sales of diesel vehicles have dropped by about 66 per cent, down from 71 per cent of the market last year.

Electric cars are growing in popularity all the time but petrol hybrids outsell them in Ireland by 12 to one, according to the latest figures from Toyota.

Irish motorists have been slow to switch over to hybrid vehicles and electric vehicles because of concerns over long charging times and the perceived limited range.

According to lobbying register filings at the Standards in Public Office Commission, Toyota are lobbying the Minister for Climate Action, Denis Naughten and MEP Brian Hayes in order to secure tax reliefs for its range of hybrid cars.

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