Toyota China is slashing prices on its first electric SUV, the bZ4X, in an effort to boost sales in an increasingly competitive market. In China, prices for the bZ4X now start at less than $25,000 (169,800 RMB).
Toyota cuts bZ4X prices in China
Toyota first launched the bZ4X in China in October 2022, with a starting price of 199,800 yuan (around $29,000).
However, like in other global markets, Japanese automakers, such as Toyota, have been lagging when introducing electric vehicle technology. Toyota has only sold 3,844 bZ4X models in China through January, accounting for a mere 0.26% of the fully electric vehicle market.
Despite Japanese automakers accounting for 19% of the overall auto market in China, they only represent 0.35% of the EV market.
Meanwhile, China’s pure electric vehicle share crossed 20% in 2022 as automakers like BYD, Geely, Tesla, NIO, Xpeng, and many others work to ramp production.
To boost sales and remain competitive in China, Toyota is slashing prices on the bZ4X by 15%, or 20,000 RMB ($4,300), with the starting price now at 169,800 RMB ($24,800), according to CarNewsChina.
Toyota is sweetening the deal with an optional solar charging module that the company claims can provide over 1,000 additional miles (1,750 km) of driving range per year for 20,000 RMB ($2,800).
The two joint ventures (FAW-Toyota and GAC-Toyota) that sell the bZ4X made the price adjustments at the same time.
The news comes shortly after incoming Toyota president Koji Sato claimed, “Now that the time is right, we will accelerate BEV development with a new approach,” as he’s expected to implement an “EV-first” approach when he takes the reins in April.
After Tesla’s price cuts in China, we saw several automakers respond with similar actions. For example, EV maker XPeng announced it slashed prices last month on its most popular EVs by up to $5,300.
To claim market share and satisfy the growing demand for sustainable transportation, Toyota is now doing the same with a significant price reduction on its first electric SUV.
Although it’s not saying much, Toyota’s bZ4X was still the best-selling Japanese EV in China last quarter as the automaker looks to get back on track. With Sato set to take over in April, it seems like Toyota is going after the biggest market for EVs in China.