Just like Toyota has taken the dominant hybrid-producer position in the US, the Japanese automaker says greener vehicles mean more green in Europe and Russia. Specifically, Toyota Motor Europe executive Didier Leroy told Bloomberg News that increased sales of Toyota and Lexus hybrids are boosting profit across the Pond.

Hybrid vehicles now account for about 20 percent of Toyota's European sales.

Hybrid vehicles now account for about 20 percent of Toyota's European sales, reflecting record-high sales there and an increase of about 13 percent a year earlier. Such higher hybrid sales - as well as more demand for Toyota's compact vehicles - helped the company double its year-earlier third-quarter profit to about $193 million. And, while Toyota's annual Europe sales are down to 830,000 from about 1 million units in 2008, Toyota's profit marks a contrast to the loss the company was taking on its higher sales five years ago. Meanwhile, the world's largest automaker has gained about a point of market share in the continent during the past year.

As a result of higher sales, Toyota's factories in France, UK and Turkey are running full bore, and Toyota is now the 10th best-selling automaker in Europe. In Russia, Toyota and Lexus have a combined market share of about six percent there, about the same as a year ago.

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