Toyota Hybrids Becoming Mainstream as Sales Top Three Million
Toyota says its hybrid vehicles are starting to be recognised as mainstream motoring with global sales passing the three-million mark.
Global demand for Toyota's hybrid vehicles is accelerating rapidly, with one million being sold in the past 18 months alone - more than one per minute.
By contrast, it took almost 10 years to sell the first one million Toyota hybrids and two years and three months to sell the second million.
The latest milestone closely follows the first anniversary of Hybrid Camry sales in Australia - the country's best-selling hybrid vehicle and responsible for bringing hybrid technology to Australian automotive manufacturing.
The global total of Toyota hybrid sales to the end of February was 3.03 million, which includes more than 2.1 million Prius and 210,000 Hybrid Camry.
Toyota in Japan calculates that its worldwide sales of hybrid vehicles* since 1997 have contributed greatly to the reduction of CO2 emissions, which are considered to be a cause of global warming.
It says those vehicles have generated approximately 18 million fewer tons** of CO2 than would have been produced by petrol-powered vehicles of similar size and driving performance.
Toyota Australia's senior executive director sales and marketing David Buttner said responding to environmental issues is a priority for the company.
"Toyota is endeavouring to promote the widespread use of hybrid vehicles and welcomes announcements of hybrid models by other manufacturers," Mr Buttner said.
"With global cumulative sales of Toyota's hybrid vehicles passing the three-million mark, it's clear that these vehicles are starting to enter the mainstream.
"In addition to its hybrids, Toyota is committed to developing environment-considerate vehicles that further raise performance and reduce costs."
Toyota sells 16 hybrid models in approximately 80 countries and regions around the world.v
It plans to introduce 10 new-model hybrid vehicles by the end of 2012, including six newly launched vehicles and four vehicles that have been redesigned.
In Australia, customers are offered the Toyota Prius and Hybrid Camry, the Lexus GS 450h, RX 450h and LS 600hL, and the Hino Hybrid truck.
The Lexus CT 200h will be launched at the end of March.
Toyota's hybrid sales began in Japan in 1997 with the launch in August of the Coaster Hybrid EV. This was followed in December by Prius, with just 323 sales in that first month.
Prius sales began in Australia in 2001. The second-generation Prius, equipped with the Toyota Hybrid System II, was introduced in 2003 with an emphasis on delivering both power and economy.
The third-generation Prius, introduced in 2009, has the lowest emissions of any vehicle on the market at just 89 grams/km and ultra-low fuel economy of 3.9 litres/100km.***
Over time, Toyota has expanded the use of its hybrid system to minivans, SUVs, rear-wheel-drive sedans and other vehicles.
Australian motorists have bought more than 16,000 Prius hatches and more than 7,000 Hybrid Camry sedans.
* Excluding the Coaster Hybrid EV, Dyna Hybrid, Toyoace Hybrid and Quick Delivery 200.
**Number of registered vehicles × distance travelled × fuel costs (actual fuel efficiency in each country) × CO2 conversion factor.
*** Fuel consumption and emissions will vary depending on driving conditions/style, vehicle conditions and options/accessories. Source of fuel consumption data: ADR 81/02.