Print 24 comment(s) - last by ChristopherO.. on Sep 8 at 9:46 PM

Lexus RX 450h

Lexus HS 250h

Toyota Prius
An important green milestone comes for the company

Whether you love Toyota's hybrids or don't care for them, its hard to fault Toyota's strategy from a business standpoint.  Demand is at a record high and the manufacturer is making profit on-level with traditional sedan designs, thanks to various cost cuts.  And with August sales in the books, the automaker has announced that it has reached a significant milestone: selling its two-millionth hybrid vehicle.

Toyota was the first to create a mass-production hybrid, when it launched the Prius in 1997.  Since then it has seen strong demand for that vehicle as it has evolved over three generations.  Meanwhile, Toyota has fleshed out its hybrid offerings with Toyota Camry, Toyota Highlander, Lexus GS 450h, Lexus RX 450h, and LS 600h hybrids.  More hybrids from Toyota and Lexus are also in the works.

Later this year Toyota will launch the Lexus HS 250h, a new luxury hybrid vehicle.  The vehicle will join 13 hybrid vehicles currently in the company's lineup (though many of these are Japan-only models).  Toyota continues to advance on its plan to by 2020 launch a hybrid version of every vehicle in its lineup, as well as continuing to offer hybrid-only offerings like the Prius.

On May 31, 2007 Toyota topped one million hybrids sold.  Toyota estimates that since 1997 its hybrids have reduced CO2 emissions by 11 million tons (based on a comparison of fuel economy of sedans of similar size and class).

In the next decade, Toyota hopes to be selling 1 million hybrid vehicles a year.

Toyota does face growing competition in the market.  Rival Japanese automaker Nissan will be launching an pure electric vehicle, the Leaf EV in 2011.  Both Nissan and Honda are also expanding their hybrid lineups, with Honda's Insight posting modest sales, despite lukewarm reviews.  German automakers are also pushing ahead with clean diesel and hybrid offerings and the U.S. automakers all have growing hybrid lineups, as well plans for electric vehicles.

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RE: How many from Ford?
By sigmatau on 9/7/2009 3:28:32 PM , Rating: 5
That's what a completely free economy gets you. Let them do whatever they want and they won't do a damn thing in terms of progress. Profit... now that is a different story. The reason the Europeans and Japanese have diesels and hybrids and generally 35%-50% better fuel economy across the board is because their government forced them to do so. These companies didn't one day just decide to be more mindful of their environment.

It kills me that people still think that government should butt out of business. It is true that the government shouldn't run the day to day dealings of our private sector but look what happens when they don't do anything. The banking sector had a free for all....even after the bail out they were demanding bonuses as they earned them. The US auto industry gave the economy a big middle finger until they saw companies like Toyota making money being green, and, really, until the bottom fell out. The oil companies, when gas was $5/gallon, stated that they have not increased production in the past 5 years, nor will they increase production in the next 10 years as to keep oil prices high. This is what they stated when they were raking in tens of billions in profit per quarter. Basically they said they knew that the average American was hurting from gas prices but f everyone except their profit margin.

Companies won't do the right thing unless there is an incentive. Good luck holding your breath waiting for these companies to do the right thing on their own.

RE: How many from Ford?
By sigmatau on 9/7/2009 3:59:25 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks for the downrating with no reply. The truth must really hurt.

RE: How many from Ford?
By sprockkets on 9/7/2009 4:21:58 PM , Rating: 1
Tell me about it. *rolls eyes*

RE: How many from Ford?
By rtrski on 9/8/2009 10:18:33 AM , Rating: 2
Well, downrating with reply is kind of pointless, when posting negates any ratings in the same thread.

RE: How many from Ford?
By Spuke on 9/8/2009 12:16:03 PM , Rating: 2
Companies won't do the right thing unless there is an incentive.
Unless it's part of the companies policy or way of doing business, doing the "right" thing isn't a requirement. The consumer has the power to simply not use those companies that don't fit our requirements. Unsuccessful companies either change or go out of business. That's how it's supposed to be done. The problem isn't business, it's the consumer. We (the royal we) don't really care about what these companies do until we've already been bent over the table. Be proactive and you won't get burnt.

Let's be real for a minute, we all know a companies primary purpose is to make a profit. Hell, publicly traded companies are required by LAW to make an effort to make a profit. The benefit of this is the consumer (us) gets a product or service from these companies. Whether it's the Mom and Pop shop on the corner or the multi-billion dollar, multi-thousand employee behemoth, they don't do what they do for free or because they just want to help the community. They do it for money. I know a few Mom and Pop shops currently that are afraid of cap and trade because they don't know if they'll be able to afford to stay in business. If these businesses were simply doing it for the community, they wouldn't be concerned about things like this, they would happily comply but that's not how it works.

RE: How many from Ford?
By ChristopherO on 9/8/2009 3:27:10 PM , Rating: 2
Companies won't do the right thing unless there is an incentive.

This is inaccurate and your points contradict themselves. You're saying the US doesn't have strict regulations... But the problem is that Toyota sold most of their hybrids in the US, where we don't have strict regulations.

Thus, they choose to develop the technology, for *our* market without a government requirement to do so.

The free market works fine. People that want fuel efficient cars can buy Kias, Insights, etc. If someone wants a high performance car, they can do that too. If someone wants to pay $4/gallon for gas, in a fuel inefficient car, I have absolutely no problem letting them doing so. Generally speaking though, hybrids are too expensive for the benefit given. Diesel is a much better technology, but we need better refined fuels. The problem being is that here in the US, if you increase diesel refining costs (by making it cleaner) the Teamsters protest since it impacts all their truck drivers. I don't know if the EU has this problem since I thought trains were more common for freight traffic. Plus I know the UK has very stringent laws on truck pollution, so much that all trucks have a governor that don't let them go beyond 50, or 55 or similar. You couldn't get away with that here because calls would be made to congress telling them to drop the bill in exchange for their generous campaign contributions. And I'm not singling out the unions, both sides do it. But our dirty diesel fuel is mostly due to our freight traffic.

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