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Hybrid car prices to drop next year

Government subsidies for environmentally friendly cars will make the hybrid versions of the Hyundai YF Sonata, Kia K5 and Toyota Prius W1 million cheaper from January 2015 (US$1=W1,039).

The Environment Ministry on Wednesday said eight hybrid models sold in Korea will be subject to W1 million in government subsidies. The cars all emit less than 100 g of carbon dioxide exhaust per kilometer.

The hybrid versions of the Sonata and K5, as well as the Prius and Lexus CT200h are expected to benefit the most from the new measure because they are the top-selling hybrid models here at present.

Sales of the other four hybrid models stand at less than 30. The LF Sonata hybrid, set for release in November, is also set to benefit.

This has also led to forecasts that hybrid car sales will decline in October and November as customers put off purchases until the subsidies kick in.

Hyundai and Kia said they may slash prices in the last few months of this year to minimize the impact.

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