Toyota sold more than 3 million hybrids so far and thinks that they are slowly having an impact.
In August 1997, Toyota rolled out their “Coaster Hybrid EV” bus, followed by the Prius in December of the same year. 300 vehicles were sold in the first year. In 2010, Toyota sold 16 hybrid models in approximately 80 countries. Last year, Toyota moved 690,000 hybrids worldwide, 9 percent of Toyota’s worldwide output (ex Daihatsu and Hino). The 3 million mark was broken some time in February this year.
“Environment-considerate vehicles contribute only through their widespread use,” says Toyota in a press release, a subtle hint that a few green vehicles made for public consumption don’t make a difference. Only after selling 3 million hybrids, Toyota “believes that such vehicles are starting to enter the mainstream.”
TMC plans to introduce 10 new-model hybrid vehicles by the end of 2012, including six newly launched vehicles and 4 vehicles that have been redesigned.
After topping Japan’s best selling car list for 19 straight months, the Prius was unseated in January by Honda’s Fit. In February, the Prius took the top spot again, data by the Japan Automobile Dealer Association shows.