The Yomiuri Shimbun is reporting that Toyota will release the long-discussed hybrid version of the Camry in North America in 2006.
Toyota hopes to sell tens of thousands of the cars in the first year, aiming to dominate the hybrid car market in the United States...
The launch of the hybrid version of the Camry—Toyota’s most marketable car—is expected to result in a rapid increase in demand for hybrids, leading to mass production of the vehicles and reduction in their prices, which are high compared with gasoline-powered vehicles.
The Camry is the top-selling car in the US; Toyota sold some 410,000 units of the car last year.
A similar report in March in the Nihon Keizai Shimbun said that Toyota “aims to sell more than 100,000 of the vehicles a year, mainly in the North American market.”
In January 2004, Jim Press, the Toyota Motor Sales COO, said that the company was “studying the possibility” of offering a Camry hybrid.
The Camry decision “obviously depends on the public’s reaction” to the Lexus and Highlander [hybrids], said Jim Press, chief operating officer of Toyota Motor Sales. “If we decide to do it, we could move forward with it pretty quickly.”
Based on the last months of Prius sales data (earlier post), and waiting lists for the Lexus and Highlander, it’s probably safe to assume they have made that decision.
One interesting aspect of Toyota’s hybrid campaign is going to be seeing how they secure a steady supply of needed components.
Toyota clearly sees the opportunity. Number one global automaker. The hybrids will help take them there.