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Market Insight: 400,000 Toyota hybrids sold

Toyota Australia celebrates hybrid sales milestone as petrol-electric uptake grows

11 Mar 2024

TOYOTA Australia has celebrated the sale of its 400,000th petrol-electric hybrid model, more than half of which were delivered in the past three years.


It is a trend that appears to be accelerating as 40.7 per cent of the brand’s sales so far this year have been hybrids compared with the record 33.5 per cent in 2023, which Toyota Australia attributes to improved supply.


Drilling down into month-by-month data supplied by Toyota Australia to GoAuto, hybrid penetration increased from 39.6 per cent in January to 41.7 per cent in February.


With models including the C-HR small SUV, Camry medium sedan and Yaris Cross light SUV confirmed to go all-hybrid, petrol-electric propulsion’s share of the Toyota Australia pie is likely to increase.


If the YTD average holds firm at 40.7 per cent, GoAuto estimates that Toyota could deliver more than 90,000 hybrids in Australia this year – compared with 72,000 in 2023 – although if the upward trend continues it could even reach six digits.


The Japanese brand has been selling hybrid cars since launching the Prius in October 2001 that, at $39,990 before on-road costs was more expensive in today’s money than the just-launched bZ4X battery electric vehicle (from $66K + ORC).


Since the Prius debuted (and sold 137 units in its first year), Toyota's petrol-electric range has proliferated to include smaller cars and SUVs, and while the Prius is no longer part of the local line-up, technology that it piloted all those years ago is now a mainstay of Australian motoring.  

Toyota Australia vice president of sales and marketing Sean Hanley said hybrids are a vital selling point for the brand and will continue to be – even with the launch of the bZ4X and more BEVs to come.  


“Since the introduction of the Prius, Toyota has put more than 20 million electrified vehicles on the world's roads, mainly hybrids, but also plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and BEVs,” said Mr Hanley.


“In Australia, just this month, we delivered our 400,000th hybrid … in fact 210,000 of those vehicles have been sold in just the past three years – 2021, 2022, 2023.


“That's a massive change in consumer behaviour, and it goes deeper because hybrids now attract the lion's share of demand for every Toyota model that offers the choic.” he said.


Mr Hanley made the comments of the brand’s launch for the bZ4X electric car, which is pitched as offering an option for buyers who want a Toyota and want it to be fully electric. But he implied that the vast majority of buyers in Australia are still going to want hybrids because they work in a more consumer-friendly way.


“These are vehicles that continue to make a significant contribution, helping motorists slash their fuel bills and reduce their carbon footprint,” he said, with hybrid models typically using considerably less fuel than their non-hybrid, petrol-only counterparts.


“In Australia, this has been achieved without incentives, and without legislation. The secret of this success is really no secret – Toyota hybrids are practical, they're capable, and above all, they’re affordable,” said Mr Hanley.


“Over many years, in fact, over decades, we invested in the cars, and the technology, we invested in consumer education, and we invested in extensive hybrid marketing. Let me assure you all, that success didn't happen overnight.”


As well as the C-HR, Camry and Yaris Cross that are going all-hybrid, Toyota Australia offers a number of models with petrol-electric options, the big-selling RAV4 medium SUV typically reaching 80 per cent hybrid sales split.  


The Corolla small hatch and sedan, Corolla Cross small SUV, Yaris liught hatch and Kluger large SUV are also offered with hybrid options.

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