Like many Japanese companies, Toyota has used its home market as a test market for new products and technologies prior to releasing them in the rest of the world, and the forerunner of hybrid power trains, the Prius, is no exception. First put on sale in 1997, as of August 2011, this model alone has sold over 1 million units in the Japanese domestic market.
In recent years sales have been boosted by favorable government incentives, and most recently by the inclusion of the new Prius Alpha (Prius V in the US) minivan model under the Prius name in the sales statistics. However, these figures are no mean feat and represent just under a third of all Toyota hybrid models ever sold.
It will be interesting to see both whether Nissan or Mitsubishi with their EV technology gain such a boost from the Japanese market, or whether such a boost is even necessary or available in 2011, with Japan’s economy continuing to stagnate, and emerging economies such as China becoming the springboard for new products.
Source: Kankyo Business (Japanese)leave a response, trackback from your own site