From its first hybrid (the Coaster Hybrid EV launches in August 1997 – no, I didn’t know that either), Toyota has now passed the 3 million hybrid vehicle milestone. About 70% of these sales are accounted for by the iconic Prius that was first introduced in Japan in December 1997 and which is now on its 3rd iteration. The Prius is trailed by the Camry Hybrid, which is at 210,000 vehicles thanks to its popularity in the US, and the RX400h and RX450h which cover 200,000 cars between them.
For those of you who think that hybrid cars can’t accelerate, just look at the exponential growth in these sales figures: While it took 9 years and 10 months for the first 1 million units to be sold, the second million was reached just 2 years and 3 months after that, and now the third million has taken just 1 year and 6 months.
While you could say that the Japanese Eco Car subsidy has played its role in keeping the Prius at the top of the Japan new car sales lists, at the same time the competition has also grown in the hybrid car market. For many years hybrid meant “Prius” for the simple reason that there were no alternatives available. Now there are not only multiple options in Toyota’s own model like up, but an increasing range of competition small and large from the other car makers. Despite this you can see Toyota’s hybrid sales accelerating, reflecting, I suspect, an industry-wide phenomenon.
Source: Chunichi Shinbun (Japanese-language)leave a response, trackback from your own site