Toyota is banking on an expanded lineup of hybrid vehicles to return the company to profitability in Europe. By the end of 2013, the Japanese automaker will launch ten additional gas-electric models in Europe, including a hybrid version of the Yaris subcompact and the lithium-ion powered, seven-passenger Toyota Prius +. Toyota Motor Europe chief executive officer, Didier Leroy, recently told Automotive News that:
Last year, combined European sales of the Prius and Auris hybrids hit 54,300 units as Toyota/Lexus sold a total of 70,500 gas-electric vehicles on the continent. In 2010, four hybrid models from Toyota/Lexus accounted for nine percent of the automaker's total European sales. Very soon, though, that percentage could more than double. In fact, Toyota expects its hybrid models will account of 20 percent (approximately 200,000 units) of it total European sales in 2013. Ulrich Selzer, head of Toyota's German division, claims that by expanding its gas-electric lineup, Toyota's "hybrid for everybody" slogan could become a reality.To regain profitability was my number one priority when I took over Toyota Motor Europe a year ago – and hybrid models are playing a crucial role in our plan of a sustainable and profitable growth.