• Mar 11, 2009
Click above for a high-res gallery of the 2010 Toyota Prius

Yesterday, Ford announced it had built its 100,000th hybrid SUV. Today, Toyota coyly released a statement that outshines the Blue Oval 10-to-1. Toyota Motor Sales has now sold more than one million Toyota and Lexus hybrids in the U.S. and dominates 75 percent of the hybrid market here. TMS has sold six hybrid models in America, including the Prius, the Highlander hybrid SUV, the Camry hybrid and the Lexus GS 450h, LS 600h and RX 400h models. This summer, the new RX 450h and HS 250h will appear. Oh, and the new 2010 Prius.

The amazing thing is that, through the end of January 2009, 1.7 million Toyota and Lexus hybrids have been sold around the world. In June 2007, Toyota announced it had sold a million hybrids and, last spring, total Prius sales topped the 1m mark. Toyota had said they hope to be building a million hybrids a year by 2020, but they have moved up the date to "early in the next decade." Toyota will introduce ten new hybrid models globally by 2012.

[Source: Toyota]

PRESS RELEASE:

TOYOTA AND LEXUS HYBRIDS TOP ONE MILLION SALES IN THE U.S.

TORRANCE, Calif., March 11, 2009 - - Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), USA, Inc., announced today that total combined Toyota and Lexus hybrid vehicle sales in the U.S. have topped the one million mark.

The sales milestone was achieved with an industry-leading six Toyota and Lexus hybrid vehicles including the Toyota Prius, the world's first mass-produced gas-electric hybrid and the all-time worldwide leader in hybrid sales.

With the expansion of its hybrid technology to a diverse group of vehicles, Toyota has commanded nearly 75 percent of all hybrid vehicles sales in the U.S. over the past 10 years. Overall, cumulative worldwide sales of Toyota and Lexus hybrids have exceeded 1.7 million vehicles through January of this year.

"One million hybrids in less than nine years indicates how quickly American consumers have accepted this important technology," said Jim Lentz, TMS president. "Toyota's hybrid leadership will continue to expand in the U.S. and around the globe. With 10 new hybrid models between now and 2012 in various global markets, we plan to sell one million gas-electric hybrids per year, worldwide, sometime early in the next decade."


The first-gen Prius

Toyota pioneered modern gas-electric hybrid technology with the launch of the Prius in late 1997 in the Japan market. Its popularity in Japan encouraged the launch of Prius in the U.S. in July 2000. The first-generation U.S. Prius was a low-volume vehicle (12,000 produced annually) that gained an immediate following, particularly among environmentally conscious consumers.

The second-generation Prius launched in the fall of 2003 as a 2004 model year. With larger dimensions, all-new styling, and Toyota's new Hybrid Synergy Drive technology, Prius became an instant hit. By 2005 Toyota was producing over 100,000 vehicles annually for the U.S. market. Prius had propelled itself from a niche environmental car into a mainstream vehicle for everyday driving needs. With more than 107,000 sales in 2005 Prius became the third-best selling Toyota passenger car in the U.S. after the Camry and Corolla.

From its humble beginnings in the summer of 2000 through February 2009 more than 700,000 Prius have been sold in the U.S., making up more than half of the 1.2 million Prius sold worldwide.

The successful launch of the Prius encouraged expansion of its hybrid technology to existing models in both the Toyota and Lexus lineups. In April 2005, Lexus introduced the crossover RX 400h, the world's first hybrid-powered luxury vehicle. Two months later Toyota launched the Highlander Hybrid sport utility vehicle (SUV).

One year later in April 2006, the Lexus GS 450h made its debut as the world's first front-engine, rear-wheel drive, full-hybrid performance sedan. April 2006 also marked the debut of the Camry Hybrid, becoming the first Toyota hybrid to be built in the U.S.

For the third consecutive year, Lexus further expanded its hybrid lineup in July 2007 with the launch of the LS 600h L luxury hybrid sedan, the world's first vehicle to feature a full-hybrid V8 powertrain. July 2007 saw the arrival of the second-generation 2008 Toyota Highlander Hybrid SUV. The all-new Highlander Hybrid raised the bar once again in the mid-size SUV segment with a complete redesign that was improved, refined and expanded in nearly every metric of comparison.

Ongoing improvement to its hybrid technology continues in 2009 with the summer arrival of the second-generation 2010 Lexus RX 450h. The all-new RX Hybrid will feature an updated version of Lexus Hybrid Drive that will improve fuel economy by up to 20 percent while generating 27 more horsepower than its predecessor.

Spring 2009 will mark the launch of the all-new and vastly improved third-generation Prius. The 2010 Toyota Prius will once again set new standards for innovative hybrid design and technology, raising its level of convenience features and performance to new heights, including a combined EPA estimated fuel efficiency rating of 50 miles-per-gallon.

Finally, late summer of 2009 will see the launch of the 2010 Lexus HS 250h, the world's first dedicated luxury hybrid vehicle. The HS 250h will be Lexus' fourth hybrid and the most fuel-efficient vehicle in its lineup.

"For Toyota and Lexus, 2009 can easily be called 'the year of the hybrid' with three new offerings including our seventh hybrid model with the launch of the Lexus HS 250h," said Lentz. "In addition to our growing hybrid presence over the next few years, expanded hybrid offerings from competitors will not only drive innovation and improvement for consumers, it will continue to help improve the environment and reduce our dependence on foreign oil."


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 39 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Yeah... fair comparison!

      o ___ o


      Not.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The only relevant questions I have is.. Do they plug in? Because if they don't, well, I guess we're feeling better about ourselves while we stand there pumping gas. That should count for something.. right? And.. Why do they still get such terrible mileage? And I'm not just comparing them to 1972 imports, but also the average mileage of hybrids on the road in Japan today.

      I have owned 8 "American" cars and 0 imports because I was a firm believer in buying American automobiles until I realized...
      -you couldn't - not totally.
      My '86 Ford Ranger has a Mitsubishi transmission! If Ford doesn't buy American, why should I.

      -you shouldn't - they should not be rewarded for doing the wrong thing.
      Chrysler's 2.7 liter engine has a sludge problem shortly after the 36k warranty runs out and American's lives are financially ruined because they owe money on a car that has a big chunk of scrap metal under the hood and no way to get to work. A Toyota engine has a sludge problem, so Toyota extended the warranty to 100,000 miles. GM shredded EV-1's that people were begging to buy. And this one is personal from me to Ford, "When the warranty on your 2008 Ford Escape runs out "in" 2008, its almost like you knew it would start leaking oil!"

      -it doesn't matter. It's a global economy, Toyota's are built in the US too. And they use Japanese parts just like the big-3 do.

      It is rather ironic that historically our auto manufacturers have been really good about giving us American's what we want, and our children and grandchildren will pay dearly for it. But it's the builders overseas whom seem to have the unique ability to give us what we need.

      • 5 Years Ago
      I would bet that ford has sold more hybrids than any other automaker but toyota, and I'd say there's a good chance that ford's cumulative number approaches that of toyota's non-prius figure.
        • 1 Hour Ago
        Not sure if Ford has sold more hybrids than Honda, but we can be quite sure that both Ford and Honda have sold lots more hybrids more than whoever is in 4th place.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Better perspective is that "all" the Toyota hybrid models sold in it's total existence about the same number of Ford F-Sires produced every year for too many years to count!

      Chalk one up for the F-Sires...
        • 5 Years Ago
        I have a question about that statistic.

        What does a Ford vehicle have to have in order to be in the "F-series"?
        As far as I can tell, between the 150s 250s 350s 450s 550s 650s and 750s, there are different frames, different bodies, different # of doors, different engines, different transmissions. The only thing they have in common in the name on the tailgate (at least the ones that have tailgates...)

        Am I missing something, or is trying to imply that the "F-series" is one model is highly deceptive?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Well for example the F-150 sells about 900,000 units per year on it's own but the F-Sires also includes the F-250, F-350, F-450, F-550 and so on This however does not include the E-Sires "Full Size Vans," Ford Rangers "Small P/U," or any of Ford's SUVs...
        • 1 Hour Ago
        So give us a link to backup your claim that Ford sell 900,000 a year of just the F-150.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Oh no,

        That is just the what is manufactured in the US.

        That does not include the Plants in Canada or Mexico...
        • 1 Hour Ago
        "What am I your Mother?"

        Do your own research over the past 10+ years of production and see if you can prove me wrong...
        • 5 Years Ago
        89sho 1:37PM (3/11/2009)

        Well for example the F-150 sells about 900,000 units per year on it's own but.......

        Is that Global sales?
        All of the F-series(150,250......) combined in February was only 23,614, the equals ~283,368 a year.

        Toyota 11,814 hybrids in February.
        • 5 Years Ago
        P.S. not quite as deceptive as comparing all of Toyota Hybrids to one model of Fords Hybrid...

        And the F-Sires defines all Fords P/U based line not just the tailgate!
      harlanx6
      • 5 Years Ago
      Toyota has led with dependable, time tested products, but everyone is gunning for the top guy. Ford is our home team, and their new new fusion looks pretty darn good. Now Ford is threatening a hybrid diesel hatchback, and if they come through, Ford is definitely going to put the hurt on Toyota in Europe and the US..
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wait, Ford announces the number sold for hybrid *SUVs* and Toyota counters with total hybrids sold? Ah, OK, and ABG didn't find that an unfair comparison and 10 to 1 ratio inaccurate?
        • 1 Hour Ago
        Good point. Any idea how many Hybrid SUV's Toyota sold?
        • 1 Hour Ago
        And how many hybrid cars has Ford sold?

        Oh yeah, ZERO!

        I'm quite certain that Toyota has sold a lot more than 100k hybrid SUVs, considering they sold 35k Highlanders and Rx 400hs in 2008.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Its good to see that Ford has sold what it has sold, far more than any other US auto maker, but it could have sold far more if it had wanted.

      A year or two after the Escape Hybrid started selling, there was a leadership change at Ford and a decision made that Ford would not sell the Escape to capacity, but rather only 25,000 a year - far below demand - since they would make more money on the normally engined versions and they roll off the same line. Something the cynical view of the Big 3 would expect.

      The leadership abandoned quick plans for a Fusion Hybrid (it was originally supposed to have arrived years ago) - and while its closing plants (i.e. has excess capacity), Ford has said (before the auto market bombed) it will only make 25,000 Fusion Hybrids a year (far below demand projections).

      So, Ford, nice that you sold these Hybrids, now please stop using them as marketing Trophy vehicles and sell us as many as we want.
        • 1 Hour Ago
        I agree, but I think the reasoning has mostly to do with the low profit margin. I can understand from a business perspective not wanting to increase production of vehicles that are sold at a loss. Toyota had higher profit margins and thus more willingness to sell loss-leading vehicles.
        • 1 Hour Ago
        Sasparilla: "A year or two after the Escape Hybrid started selling,
        there was a leadership change at Ford and a decision made that Ford
        would not sell the Escape to capacity..."

        One other possible explanation: I heard they were having problems
        with their battery supplier. They certainly were last year.

        http://wardsauto.com/ar/ford_hybrid_hurdle_081229/

        Sasparilla: "The leadership abandoned quick plans for a Fusion Hybrid
        (it was originally supposed to have arrived years ago)"

        The problem here is not Ford but CAFE standards. CAFE standards separate cars and trucks/SUVs (and the separation is pretty arbitrary). Selling high mpg SUVs (Example: Escape Hybrids) lets Ford sell more low mpg SUVs (Example: Explorer) which have a higher profit margin. The low and high mpg cancel each other out so Ford meets its CAFE target. Selling Fusion Hybrids lets Ford sell more... well nothing, because it's just a car.
        • 1 Hour Ago
        Just to reply to mister nomer there:

        )) One other possible explanation: I heard they were having problems
        with their battery supplier. They certainly were last year. ((

        Here's an article from this website (last year) that talks about the fact that Ford could get alot more batteries if they wanted to (they have to plan on & commit to it in advance of course, not short term increases like you can with vehicle production), but don't because from a business perspective they make more money on the Non-Hybrid Models off the same line:

        http://www.autobloggreen.com/2008/05/16/why-is-ford-only-building-25-000-hybrid-escapes-and-mariners-thi/

        Actually what they couldn't do (as the Hybrid battery manufacturing can't just be increased like regular vehicle production) is increase battery production short term. To get larger amounts you have to plan and commit to the higher production, so the battery factories can be expanded - because they and their supply chains are built to run flat out. However Ford only plans for and sells 25,000 Escape Hybrids, because they have chosen that - they didn't choose to increase that in the future. This is why Toyota couldn't increase Prius production last year, but was going to increase it by 50% this year.

        )) The problem here is not Ford but CAFE standards. ((

        Well, that's a guess on your part with the CAFE standards, I'd just guess it saved them money at the time (no development costs there). Whatever the reason, it was the change in Ford leadership that dropped the years earlier Fusion Hybrid plan and continues to limit Explorer Hybrid and Fusion Hybrid production to 25,000 vehicles each. They're Green Trophy vehicles, much better than 5,000 a year, but still far below what demand would be for them.

        As this website has reported, they can get all the batteries they want, they just have to plan do it and commit to it. In the mean time they can get their green thumb in the advertising and turn customers away to whomever will actually give them what they want - Toyota will probably mop up the people who won't be able to get Fusion Hybrids with Camry Hybrids (which is a shame).
      • 5 Years Ago
      Yeah but how many of those 1 million hybrids were SUVs?
        • 1 Hour Ago
        Please...spare us the bullsh*t argument of taking people across country and loading up a family of 6 or more. That's the same excuse used for idiots who drive around in 8 passenger SUVs all by themselves all day with a cell phone glued to their dumb heads.

        The Prius is classified as a mid-size car and for a good reason. It's BIG inside. And it's comfortable.

        Just because it's not the size of your living room doesn't make it a lesser car for travel.

        Get a school bus if you care so much about room.
        • 1 Hour Ago
        Exactly. Take a family of four acorss the country in a prius. Or make a serious Home Depot run.

        I've seen people do it. Didn't look pretty.

        Prius is a nice, but it's not suitable for everyone who might enjoy a hybrid.

        Where's the Toyota hybrid minivan or affordable family hauler? You can get a stupidly priced Lexus or Highlander in hybrid form. Oooops, all of a sudden their solution doesn't seem to scale well, vale-wise, beyond the econbox.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Rather than quantity, its good to see that Ford is consistently producing better cars than the Toyota competition with the Fusion and Escape Hybrids.
        • 1 Hour Ago
        I fully agree that Ford Quality is on par if not much better than Toyota Lexus brand excluded in the past few years.

        For example. I had purchased a back in 2000 a Crown Vic. that I put 260,000 hard miles on with no issues other than changing oil, tires and brakes. the brake jobs I did my self for under $100.00 using new rotors and new pads.

        I finally gave it to my brother-in-law in California who drives from Riverside county to O.C. daily then is on the road the rest of the day meeting with clients. His latest report is that the car just clicked over 320,000 miles and he is due for tires again...
        • 1 Hour Ago
        LOL
      • 5 Years Ago
      With a 3 year headstart and a half-dozen more models over Ford, I'd HOPE Toyota would sell that many more hybrids.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The whole thing seems pretty petty, doesn't it? Of late it seems that Toyota has felt the need to comment on nearly everything Ford says. It makes me think that perhaps the management Ford stole from Boeing is making Toyota fearful. I sometimes think that if someone at Ford farted, Toyota would have a press release telling us how much better their flatulence smells.

      Me thinks Toyota doeth protest too much.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The difference is Ford has sold 100,000 vehicles. Toyota has sold 1million+ appliances.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Which dealership would you rather work at?
        • 5 Years Ago
        If by appliance you mean a mechanical device manufactured to perform a specific task in order to lessen the burden of daily life on its user, yes. So has Ford by the latter definition.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Appliances? LOL...yeah ok...oh that Hybrid Escape is SO FUN to drive.

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