Really, there should be no doubt which automaker holds the distinction as the most prolific marketer of hybrids in the business. It’s Toyota, pure and simple. This company’s brilliant strategy for its Prius hybrid has evolved into a success story that other manufacturers can only envy.
So the news that nearly two million Toyota and Lexus hybrid vehicles have been sold in the U.S., and five million worldwide, is not earth shattering. It’s expected. And the company is justifiably proud.
According to Toyota, its global fleet of nearly 20 hybrid vehicles is estimated to have decreased some 34 million tons of CO2 emissions because of its fuel efficiency and electric operation, compared to gasoline-powered vehicles. Obviously, there’s strength in numbers. Toyota and Lexus hybrids represent 70 percent of the U.S. auto industry’s total hybrid sales. Hybrids also account for 16 percent of overall Toyota/Lexus sales globally and locally. With total industry hybrid sales now about 3 percent of the U.S. new car market, the picture will clearly only get better.
Of the 19 hybrid models and one plug-in hybrid now sold in 80 countries and regions around the world, a dozen are sold in the U.S. These include the Prius Liftback, Prius v, Prius c, Prius Plug-in, Camry Hybrid, Avalon Hybrid, Highlander Hybrid, Lexus CT 200h, ES 300h, GS 450h, LS 600h, and RX 450h. Three of these models are now manufactured in North America with a fourth, the Highlander Hybrid, joining in soon. Toyota says that it will introduce 18 new hybrid models between now and the end of 2015 and expects its global hybrid sales to be at least a million units a year during that same period, with a third of these sold in the U.S.