Toyota Motor Corp. has been a leader in hybrid cars ever since the first Prius rolled off assembly lines in 1997. Worldwide Toyota has sold more than 3 million hybrid cars, but competition is growing from cars like Nissan’s all-electric Leaf, GM’s Volt, Mitsubishi’s i-MiEV, Subaru’s Plug-in Stella, and Ford’s electric Focus. In total there are 13 different car brands now offering 30 different hybrid models.
Despite all the new entrants in the hybrid market Toyota still sells about half of all hybrid vehicles on the road. According to a Consumer Reports survey, Toyota also holds a big lead as the most environmental car maker.
To help retain that lead, Toyota’s President Akio Toyoda unveiled the company’s strategy on March 9, 2011. Toyoda reaffirmed the traditional objectives of the company founded by his grandfather to develop safe, reliable cars and clean technologies. Toyoda’s objectives also include increased sales in the smaller margin but fast-growing emerging markets.
An important part of Toyota’s strategy include the launch of 10 new environmentally friendly hybrids by 2015 including new Prius hybrids like a plug-in version, a larger wagon and a sleek little sports car known as the Prius C concept, all of which were unveiled at the Detroit auto show on March 8, 2011.
By the end of 2012, Toyota plans to introduce six new hybrid models, two of which will be in the Lexus luxury brand, and four as Toyota models.The two new Lexus hybrids will join four Lexus hybrids already on the market. The four Toyota hybrid models are the Sienna, Yaris, Corolla and Rav4. The Rav4 will also be available as an all-electric vehicle, it will be designed and built in partnership with California-based Tesla Motors. The electric version of the Rav4 will be unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November, 2011.
Toyota’s new generation of vehicles are intended to retain the company’s global leadership in greener cars.
Click here for more information on Toyota’s Hybrid Vehicles.
© 2011, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.
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