Toyota expects a sharp increase in sales of hybrid cars to more than 1 million a year early in the next decade, Toyota Europe vice president Thierry Dombreval said on March 6. "Over the next few years we plan to double our global hybrid vehicle offering, anticipating annual sales of over 1 million hybrid vehicles early in the next decade," Dombreval said at the Geneva Motor Show.
The world's number two carmaker said in December that it expected global production of 9.42 million of all types of vehicles in 2007.
Including Lexus brand models, Toyota says its overall hybrid sales worldwide are nudging the 900,000 mark since its first hybrid compact model was launched a decade ago. Toyota, which pioneered mass production of the low pollution petrol-electric vehicles along with Honda, has sold 650,000 of its compact hybrid Prius worldwide since 1997. Just 50,000 of them have been sold in Europe. By comparison, overall sales of the whole of the company's brands reached 1,12 million in Europe in 2006.
The company displayed prototypes of two new hybrid models in Geneva, including a roomier version aimed at families, and a 400 horsepower concept sports car.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007