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Hybrid sales boost for Toyota

Local hero: The Camry Hybrid is the third highest-selling hybrid car in Toyota’s line-up.

Toyota’s petrol-electric hybrid sales top one million units for second year in a row

Toyota logo16 Jan 2014

By TIM NICHOLSON

TOYOTA has amassed more than one million sales of hybrid-powered vehicles for the second year running but lost some of the momentum it gained in 2012 when it almost doubled its hybrid sales.

The Japanese car-making giant sold 1,279,400 petrol-electric hybrid vehicles for the 12 months of 2013 across its Toyota and Lexus brands compared with 1,219,000 in 2012, an increase of 60,000 units.

Toyota reached the magic one million annual sales mark for the first time in 2012, almost doubling its 2011 total of 628,900 units after the introduction of subsidies for green cars in the company’s home market of Japan.

This massive increase was also assisted by the industry’s recovery following the earthquake and tsunami that devastated the east coast of Japan in 2011.

Japan’s ‘Eco Car’ subsidies, which were applied to vehicles that achieved particular fuel efficiency standards, were scrapped in September 2012, putting pressure on Toyota’s hybrid car sales.

Compared with 2012, hybrid sales in Europe were up by 46,200 units for a total of 153,000 cars in 2013, while Toyota made modest gains in the North American market where 358,100 petrol-electric hybrids found homes, an increase of 13,500 Toyota’s home market Japan was the strongest market globally last year with 679,000 hybrid sales, marking an increase of just 1100 units over the 2012 figures.

Total sales of Toyota hybrid vehicles since the launch of the Prius hatch and the Coaster Hybrid bus in Japan in 1997 have now reached 6,072,900 units.

Unsurprisingly, the vehicle that started the hybrid revolution for Toyota – the Prius hatch – is the highest selling Toyota or Lexus hybrid model on the market with overall sales of 3,166,600 since launch.

The Aqua – sold in Australia as the tiny Prius C light hatch – sits in second place with 633,600 sales, while the Camry hybrid that is produced in Australia as well as a number of overseas markets is the third-best seller with 418,700 units sold.

In Australia, the locally produced Camry Hybrid overtook the Prius as the top-selling hybrid vehicle in April last year with 20,000 sales to the end of April, just 2000 more than the Prius.

As well as the dedicated hybrid Prius, Toyota sells petrol-electric versions of the Camry, US-market Avalon large sedan and an electrified version of the previous generation RAV4.

Luxury offshoot Lexus sells hybrid versions of the IS, GS, ES and LS sedans, the RX SUV and the Corolla-sized CT hatch.

Over the next two years, Toyota says it will launch a further 15 hybrid models including the Japanese-market Harrier SUV, as well as the new-generation Highlander SUV which sells in Australia as the popular Kluger.

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