Toyota has managed to rack up one million sales of its petrol-electric hybrid since the car first went on sale in Japan back in December 1997. At the end of April, Toyota said it had sold 1,028,000 Prius models with 100,000 finding a home in anti-hybrid Europe. Only last year Toyota’s combined hybrid sales (including its Lexus models) reached the million vehicle mark, so it just goes to show how much the Prius dominates the carmaker’s hybrid tally.
Toyota is well poised to take advantage of increasing demand for hybrid models caused by rising world oil prices and the concern for global warming. Honda remains a distant second in the sales race and the Prius is still one of the most recognized hybrid brands in the world.
Last year, Toyota sold about 429,400 hybrids globally, up 37% from 2006, however this accounted for less than 5% of its total vehicle sales, reports Automotive News. The carmaker is dedicated to eventually offering a 100% hybrid line-up, boasting that hybrids will be the standard drivetrain by 2020.
Engineers are now working on the next-generation Prius model due for launch late next year and more advanced plug-in hybrid vehicles for launch at the end of the decade. Toyota is currently embroiled in a race with GM to be the first on the market with a plug-in hybrid and is also working on developing cheaper hybrid systems with the hope to roll it out across more models.