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Toyota hits new hybrid high

Local favourite: Toyota’s Australian built Camry Hybrid has topped 25,400 sales since it went on sale in 2010.

Camry is Australia’s top-selling hybrid as Toyota marks 50,000 hybrid sales

27 Mar 2014

TOYOTA’S locally built Camry Hybrid has outsold its Prius eco-hatch stablemate to take the title of the best selling hybrid-powered vehicle in Australia.

The Japanese car-maker’s local arm confirmed it has sold more than 50,000 petrol-electric hybrid vehicles in Australia since the launch of the original Prius in 2001.

Out of the 50,671 hybrids sold in Australia, the Camry Hybrid makes up 25,400 of the total, followed by the Prius with 18,682 sales, the Prius C light-hatch with 2016 sales and the seven-seat Prius V MPV on 2016 sales.

While the Prius took 13 years to reach 18,000 sales, the Camry Hybrid achieved more than 25,000 sales in the four years since its launch in previous-generation guise in February 2010.

The Camry Hybrid has been a popular choice for fleet and government buyers as it ticks two boxes that some companies or organisations require, being both Australian built and environmentally friendly.

Toyota Australia executive director of sales and marketing Tony Cramb said sales of hybrid-powered cars in Australia had lifted with buyers keen on a mixture of performance and low fuel economy.

“If Toyota's hybrid cars were viewed as a stand-alone franchise, it would rank in the top 20 for sales – ahead of well-established brands such as Chrysler, Land Rover, Peugeot, Renault and Volvo,” he said.

“Toyota's success with hybrid cars in Australia mirrors the global situation where sales have accelerated to well over one million a year.” The company estimates that its hybrid models have reduce carbon-dioxide emissions by more than 41 million tonnes and saved about 14 million kilolitres of fuel compared with similarly sized petrol-powered vehicles.

Out of the 1,136,227 vehicles sold in Australia last year, just 11,949 had hybrid powertrains making up 1.05 per cent of the entire market.

Other vehicles that make up the 1.05 per cent include the plug-in Holden Volt, Honda Insight, Civic Hybrid and CR-Z, as well as BMW ActiveHybrid 3, 5 and 7 and the Mercedes-Benz E300 BlueTec Hybrid.

While Toyota offers four hybrid-powered models – the Prius, Prius C and V and Camry Hybrid – its luxury offshoot Lexus sells at least one hybrid version of each of its models, except the LandCruiser-based LX.

Last year, Toyota and Lexus combined sold 1,279,400 globally, a boost of 60,000 units over its 2012 haul.

Another milestone came in December last year when Toyota announced it had sold a total of six million hybrid vehicles globally, with 2.8 million in its home market of Japan, 2.3 million in North America and 650,000 in Europe.

Toyota announced in February this year that it would close its local manufacturing operations in 2017, leaving 2500 workers jobless and bringing to an end 50 years of car-making in Australia.

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