The Nikkei reports that Toyota Motor Corp. plans to release a new dedicated hybrid car by 2009, with an initial sales target of 100,000 units annually worldwide. It will be Toyota’s second such hybrid-only vehicle after the Prius.
Currently, Toyota uses hybrid technology in seven models, not all of which are on sale in the US. Toyota sold about 312,500 hybrids worldwide in 2006, with the Prius accounting for the bulk of those. From the first introduction of a hybrid model in 1999 through May 2007, Toyota has sold 1,047 million hybrid light-duty vehicles worldwide—72% of which have been the Prius. (Earlier post.)
According to the report, Toyota and its main part suppliers have already begun developing the car, which is designed to offer better riding quality due to its larger size and engine displacement of 2-3 liters, compared with the smaller, 1.5-liter Prius.