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Toyota plans to sell 1 million hybrids per year this decade

The first mass production hybrid vehicle, the Prius, came from Toyota in the late 1990s. The Prius was soon joined by several other hybrid vehicles in the Japanese market including larger SUVs and vehicles aimed at commercial use. Today, Toyota offers hybrid vehicles from its luxury brand Lexus in the U.S. along with the Prius, Camry Hybrid, and Highlander Hybrid.

Toyota Motor Company (TMC) has announced that in Japan the sales of hybrid vehicles have topped the million unit mark. The Prius was also the best selling vehicle in Japan in 2009.

Globally, Toyota has sold over 2.68 million hybrid vehicles as of July 31, 2010. The company currently sells eight hybrid vehicles outside Japan with overseas sales for TMC at 1.68 million units. According to Toyota, its hybrid vehicles have resulted in some significant savings in greenhouse gas emissions. TMC figures that since 1997, its hybrids have resulted in four million less tons of CO2 emissions in Japan alone and 15 million fewer tons of CO2 produced globally.

Toyota has bigger plans still for its hybrid vehicle sales. The company plans to sell a million hybrid vehicles per year during this decade and add hybrid models to every vehicle in its line as early as 2020. Toyota's iconic Prius hybrid was launched in 1997. More recently, Toyota and electric vehicle maker Tesla have worked together on a new plant and the development of hybrid and full-electric vehicles.

There were also reports in May that a minivan using Prius hybrid technology would be coming next spring.

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Points to ponder
By marvdmartian on 8/9/2010 3:03:16 PM , Rating: 2
1. According to CNN's Money section, current gasoline prices in Japan are $4.24/gallon (and I'd bet they've been higher in the past). We all know small cars have been popular over there for a long time, most likely due to the higher gas mileage they get, so it's only natural that someone in Japan is going to love a car that gets 50mpg.

2. Couple that with the fact that even if they want them, getting ahold of a car from the USA, in Japan, is difficult (at best). In fact, when our military members are stationed over there, they are told that, by Japanese law, they cannot take a vehicle over there that was manufactured AFTER the mid 70's. That's right, AFTER . If that's not protectionist in nature, I really don't know what it could be, when a government states that they would rather have an early 70's vehicle that gets 10 to 15 mpg (and has no smog equipment, so pollutes like all get out), than a modern vehicle with good gas mileage and lower pollution emissions......that might also conceiveably compete for sales with the home built product.

Is it any wonder, then, why hybrids might be popular in Japan??

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