Toyota Motor Thailand has called for the government to step up promotion of hybrid cars including tax incentives to encourage local production.

The Bangkok Post said that executives led by TMT president Mitsuhiro Sonoda made the point in a meeting with Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva.

The company asked for a cut in excise duty on hybrid vehicles with engines above 3,000cc to 30% from 50% as the lower tax would support large petrol-electric vehicles, said government spokesman Panithan Wattanayakorn.

It also requested duty exemptions on imported parts for hybrid cars.

Toyota is currently building Camry hybrids from assembly kits imported from Japan. The cars are expected to be rolled out next year. The excise tax on hybrid cars with 2,400cc engines is 10%, down from 30% previously.