Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) recently announced that its combined global sales of Toyota hybrid vehicles has now surpassed the 3-million mark. For Toyota, the road to this milestone has been a long and determined one. It was back in 1997 that TM launched its Coaster Hybrid EV and later the Prius—the world’s first mass-produced Toyota hybrid vehicle—in Japan. Three years later, it would take the Prius to North American and European markets.
Toyota Hybrid Impact Grows
That Toyota hybrid venture was followed in 2003 with the second-generation Prius and then the expansion of TMC’s hybrid system across a number of vehicle lines from minivans and SUVs to rear-wheel-drive sedans and hatchbacks. In May 2009, the third-generation Prius became available and TMC’s hybrid vehicle sales topped 2 million worldwide three months later.
As 2011 got under way, the automaker added to its Toyota hybrid vehicle offering with the Lexus “CT 200h,” the first dedicated hybrid model in the premium-compact lineup, bringing the company’s total number of available Toyota hybrid vehicle models to 16 with market presence in approximately 90 countries and regions around the world.
TMC isn’t likely to sit on its laurels anytime soon. The company says it plans to introduce 10 new-model Toyota hybrid vehicles by the end of 2012: six completely new vehicles and four redesigned models, with hopes of growing the lineup even further, along with growing the number of locations around the world where Toyota hybrid vehicles are sold.
Environmental Impact of Toyota Hybrid Sales
As it passed the 3 million mark, TMC estimated that its Toyota hybrid vehicles have meant approximately 18 million fewer tons of CO2 emitted into the environment than would have been emitted by gasoline-powered vehicles. The company says its hybrid vehicle emphasis stems from the belief that hybrid vehicles must achieve widespread, mainstream use if their green attributes are to have impact.