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Toyota hails hybrid sales record

Number one: Around 25 per cent of all Australian-built Camry sedans sold here this year are petrol-electric hybrids, making it the local market’s top-selling hybrid car.

More than one million Toyota Group hybrids sold in 2012, including Australian record

Toyota logo9 Nov 2012

By MIKE COSTELLO

TOYOTA says its hybrid car range has arrived as a legitimate mainstream choice after this year clocking up more than one million annual worldwide sales (including Lexus) for the first time.

Things are similarly positive in Australia, with full-year sales of Toyota and Lexus hybrids on track to pass 11,000 units cumulatively for the first time in 2012.

The global sales tally for petrol-electric Toyota and Lexus vehicles hit 1,028,900 at the end of October, an increase of 63.6 per cent over the 628,989 hybrids sold for the entirety of 2011.

The company therefore achieved its long-standing target to hit the magic million mark in 2012 with more than two months to spare. Petrol-electric vehicles make up almost 14 per cent of global sales for the Japanese car-maker and its luxury offshoot so far this year.

Top-seller is the Prius, with 316,000 sold this year, followed by the smaller Prius C (259,700 and the top-selling car in Japan), Prius V (159,700), Camry Hybird (81,800) and the Lexus luxury range (102,500).

Toyota and Lexus have now sold more than 4.6 million hybrids around the world, including 2 million in Japan and 45,000 in Australia. The company claims this has stopped 30 million tons of carbon dioxide entering the atmosphere and saved 11 million litres of fuel.

To the end of October, 9884 Toyota and Lexus hybrids have been sold in Australia, due in no small part to the barrage of new or facelifted petrol-electric vehicles launched since December last year.

 center imageFrom top: Toyota Prius V Prius C Lexus CT200h.

These include the new Camry Hybrid (December 2011), revised Prius hatch and its Prius C spin-off (both March this year) the Prius V wagon (May), new Lexus GS (April) and facelifted Lexus RX (June).

All up, hybrid cars now represent a small-but-significant 4.5 per cent share of all Toyota Australia sales, including 5168 Camry hybrids (out of 20,499 Camrys sold overall), 1516 sales for the Prius C light hatch, 719 for the regular Prius and 594 for the Prius V people-mover.

More than a third of all Lexus luxury vehicle sold in Australia this year also have petrol-electric drivetrains, including 1234 CT200h hatchbacks, 98 GS hybrids (out of 512 total GS sales) and 555 RX hybrids (out of 1709 overall).

Toyota Australia executive director of sales and marketing, Matthew Callachor, said Australian car buyers were increasingly viewing hybrid cars – long championed by the brand, as well as fellow Japanese car-maker Honda – as viable options next to traditional internal combustion cars.

Furthermore, Mr Callachor said the growth in hybrids was coming largely at the expense of equally frugal (or in some cases, more so) diesel-powered passenger cars, many of which are of European origin.

“The number of private buyers opting for diesel passenger cars has actually fallen this year while sales of hybrid passenger cars have doubled among private buyers,” he said.

“Toyota has almost single-handedly developed, built, promoted and sold hybrid cars to the point where they are now a mainstream choice for the motoring public.

“We expect hybrids to continue to grow in popularity as Toyota is joined by other car-makers in offering hybrid cars here and overseas - a development we strongly welcome.

“A growing number of people now understand that petrol-electric hybrids offer increased performance as well as substantial fuel savings due to the combination of an efficient petrol engine and an electric motor.

“Our own locally built Camry Hybrid develops the most power of any Camry while using the least amount of petrol in the range.” Perhaps most notable among brands set to enter the hybrid market in Australia are high-end German duo of BMW – which this year released its ActiveHybrid versions of the 5 and 7 Series – and Audi, which will launch a petrol-electric A6 in 2013.

Toyota Hybrid Sales
2012 (to Oct) Cumulative
Prius 316,60 2,804,900
Prius C 259,700 259,700
Prius V 159,700 224,000
Prius PHV 21,600 21,600
Camry 81,800 317,200
Others 87,000 479,800
Lexus range 102,500 496,100
TOTAL 1,028,900 4,603,300

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