The pioneer in bringing production hybrid vehicles to market has just achieved a major new milestone. As of the end of May, Toyota has sold 1.047 million hybrid drive vehicles around the world since the introduction of the original Prius a decade ago. Toyota is now building hybrid vehicles in Japan, China and, starting last fall, Georgetown, Kentucky.
While the Prius has far exceeded Toyota's original expectations, not all their hybrids have done as well. The Lexus RX400h and the Toyota Highlander hybrid have only sold 85,000 and 67,000 units worldwide since their 2005 introduction. It will be interesting to see how the new Lexus LS600h does in the market with its $104,000 price tag. More details are available at the Read link and in the Toyota press release after the jump.
[Source: AOL Money]
Toyota USA to Sell a Quarter-Million Hybrid Units In 2007
June 7, 2007 - Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc., announced the one-millionth hybrid sale today by parent company, Toyota Motor Corporation. Of the one million hybrid sales worldwide, more than half have been sold in the United States -- 541,210 units from 2000 through April 2007.
"The cost benefit of hybrids is becoming more apparent with climbing gas prices," said Jim Lentz, TMS executive vice president. "We anticipate combined sales of Toyota and Lexus hybrids of a quarter million units in the U.S. during calendar year 2007."
Despite earlier concerns that decreased tax credits from the IRS would dampen hybrid demand, Toyota continues to post record hybrid sales. Calendar-year-to-date hybrid sales for TMS totaled 119,154 units, an increase of 75 percent over the same period last year.
In May, TMS posted sales of 36,101 hybrid vehicles, up 102 percent over last May. Toyota Division posted sales of 34,174 hybrids, up 121 percent over the same period last year. Lexus Division posted sales of 1,927 hybrids.
As consumers begin the summer driving season, the broad benefits of hybrid technology reveal discernible cost-savings with strong sales of Toyota Camry Hybrid and Toyota Prius. When comparing real-world hybrid transaction prices to non-hybrid prices and taking into account current rising fuel prices, Toyota hybrids show their remarkable value as estimated in the chart below.
Hybrid payback (years)
* TMV based on Edmunds.com 0.8
** Based on 15,000 miles/year
Aside from the gas-savings to hybrid owners, the significant reduction in tailpipe emissions, as well as the reduction in foreign oil dependence, has been a factor among many buyers who say they are concerned about the environment. According to a recent study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), hybrid vehicles have saved close to 215 million gallons, or 5.1 million barrels, of fuel in the U.S. since their introduction in 1999. As the market share leader in the hybrid segment, Toyota accounted for 66 percent of all hybrids sold in America during that period.
Also significant to buyers who may base their next purchase on environmental priorities are the results of recent lifecycle assessment studies of hybrid vehicles. A variety of studies, including one from the Argonne National Laboratory, have concluded that the total lifetime energy use of hybrid vehicles---from development, through production, through on-highway use, to end-of-life recycling and landfill---is significantly lower than conventional vehicles.
Prius was launched in the Japan domestic market in 1997, and in the U.S. market as a 2001-model in 2000. In 2005, the Highlander Hybrid SUV debuted as a model year 2006. For the first time, the Toyota Camry added a hybrid option for model year 2007.
In 2005 Lexus entered the hybrid fold with the launch of the world's first luxury hybrid, the RX 400h luxury sport utility vehicle. Powered by its Lexus Hybrid Drive system, the RX 400h is equipped with a 3.3-liter V6 and two electric motor generators, delivering an impressive 268 total system horsepower while rated an EPA estimate of 32 miles-per-gallon during city driving. The new hybrid luxury SUV has proved popular with environmentally-conscious luxury buyers as the RX 400h has made up nearly 20 percent of all RX sales since it launched.
Lexus continued its venture into hybrids in 2006 with the launch of the GS 450h performance luxury sedan. The GS450h gave further proof that hybrid technology could be used in many different types of vehicles.
The Lexus commitment to hybrid technology continues with the launch of the all-new 2008 LS 600h L premium luxury hybrid sedan when it goes on sale this summer.