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 danrien on 9/8/2009 5:13:29 PM , Rating: 2
The japanese companies are DEFINITELY not any better than american companies:

RE: How many from Ford?
By ChristopherO on 9/8/2009 9:46:30 PM , Rating: 2
You take one business quarter as definitive proof? And an article from March? Especially when they were asking for something like 5-10% of what GM got, and GM is actually a smaller company and has gone back to the government more than once?

I don't like defending foreign companies, but the article you cited clearly mentions they have adequate reserves. They were trying to refinance long-term debt which matures this year, and the frozen capital markets caused problems for their long-term cash strategy. GM wasn't *only* trying to cover mature debt, they were bleeding cash and couldn't even handle their operating capital. From an economic perspective the two situations aren't even similar (Toyota went to the government because it tried to avoid a 50 basis point hike in a bond rate -- GM couldn't even issue them!).

GM is systemically, top-to-bottom, a broken firm. I really hope their re-org fixes this since almost most of my older relatives worked for them (everything from engineers to assembly line people). It's sort of like a broken marriage. Everyone needs to come to the table and admit it was partly their fault. However you get a bunch of overpaid execs, and crazy union bosses, and everyone is too macho to admit they screwed up.

Ford at least has the benefit of seeing the catastrophe early, canning the CEO, and trying to do what they could. Just narrowly avoiding disaster... And not on the public dime.

Chrysler has been in a bad situation ever since Daimler picked them up. It reminds me when Time Warner grabbed AOL. Somehow a company with a troubled future convinced another firm to buy them for a huge price.

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