The number of Toyota hybrids sold over the past decade or so has officially passed the three-million mark, hitting 3.03 million back on February 28th. Toyota claims that its hybrids have directly reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 18 million tons. What might be more impressive is the speed at which Toyota is selling hybrids now: The first million took nine years, 10 months; the second million, two years and three months; the third million? 18 months.
The Toyota Prius, introduced in 1997 as the world's first mass-produced hybrid vehicle, became the best-selling gas electric car, winning the affections of Hollywood stars such as Leonardo DiCaprio and Cameron Diaz when it hit the U.S. market in 2000. Since then, it has remained the hybrid of choice for green motorists around the world. Toyota believes that hybrid technology has finally hit the mainstream market, a development for which the Japanese automaker probably deserves most of the credit.
With competition from Ford, General Motors and Honda on the rise, Toyota has widened its hybrid lineup to include vehicles like the Camry Hybrid, Lexus LS600h, HS 250h and CT200h. In the coming years, Toyota will launch additional hybrid models, including the Prius V, Prius C, and the plug-in Prius.
[Source: Toyota, Integrity Exports]
Toyota City, Japan, March 8, 2011-Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) announces global cumulative sales of its hybrid vehicles have topped the 3-million mark, with more than 3.03 million units1 sold worldwide as of February 28, 2011.
In 1997 in Japan, TMC launched the "Coaster Hybrid EV" in August and launched the "Prius"-the world's first mass-produced hybrid vehicle-in December. Sales of the Prius began in North America, Europe and elsewhere in 2000. Next came the second-generation Prius in 2003 and the expanded use of TMC's hybrid system on such vehicles as minivans, SUVs, rear-wheel-drive sedans and hatchbacks. The third-generation Prius went on sale in May 2009, and the global cumulative sales of TMC's hybrid vehicles topped 2 million by the end of August the same year.
This year, TMC continued to expand its hybrid vehicle lineup, launching the Lexus "CT 200h"-the first dedicated hybrid model in the premium-compact segment-in January. TMC currently sells 16 hybrid vehicle models in approximately 80 countries and regions around the world, including three commercial vehicle models in Japan. TMC plans to introduce 10 new-model hybrid vehicles by the end of 2012, including six newly launched vehicles and 4 vehicles that have been redesigned. TMC is committed to augmenting this lineup even further and increasing the number of countries and regions in which it sells hybrid vehicles.
As of February 28, 2011, TMC calculates that TMC hybrid vehicles2, since 1997, have led to approximately 18 million fewer tons3 of CO2 emissions-considered to be a cause of climate change-than would have been emitted by gasoline-powered vehicles of similar size and driving performance.
Positioning response to environmental issues as a management priority and based on its belief that environment-considerate vehicles contribute only through their widespread use, TMC has endeavored to achieve the widespread use of hybrid vehicles. With global cumulative sales of its hybrid vehicles passing the 3-million mark, TMC believes that such vehicles are starting to enter the mainstream.
TMC intends to continue to dedicate itself-in all directions-to developing and popularizing other environment-considerate cars in addition to gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles. Having positioned hybrid technologies-consisting of the component technologies necessary for development of various environment-considerate cars-as key technologies, TMC plans to continue working to further raise performance, reduce costs, and expand its product lineup to create vehicles that are popular with consumers.