The Nihon Keizai Shimbun reports that Toyota Motor plans to increase the proportion of fuel-efficient diesel and hybrid passenger vehicles that it sells in Europe from 43% of its new car sales in 2005 to 50% in 2010.
Toyota sold about 1 million passenger vehicles in Europe in 2005, of which 41% were diesel-powered and 2% were gas-electric hybrids. For 2010, it is targeting European sales of 1.5 million passenger vehicles, with the proportion of diesel-powered models at 45% and that of hybrids at 5%, according to the paper.
Toyota’s hybrids make up 6% of its passenger vehicles sold in North America and only 3% in Japan. In Europe, diesel-powered vehicles account for more than 50% of the market.
Toyota will use engines co-developed with Isuzu (earlier post) in the European models. The report also says that Toyota separately is developing a new generation of high-performance diesel engines.
Toyota President Katsuaki Watanabe says the firm has already established technology to develop diesel-electric hybrid engines, which will likely be more fuel-efficient than gas-electric hybrids. But commercializing the technology is expected to take time because of the associated high cost.