|Toyota’s global hybrid sales by year. Click to enlarge.|
Global cumulative sales of Toyota hybrid vehicles have topped the 1 million mark, with approximately 1,047,000 units sold worldwide as of May 31, 2007, according to the company. Of those, 32.9% were sold in Japan and 67.1% were sold overseas, primarily in the US. The Prius accounts for 72.4% of total global hybrid sales.
Toyota unveiled the Toyota Hybrid System (THS) in March 1997, then launched its first hybrid production vehicle (the Coaster) in Japan that August, followed by the first-generation Prius in December 1997. Toyota began selling the Prius in North America, Europe and elsewhere in 2000.
|Cumulative Toyota hybrid sales by primary models.Click to enlarge.|
In 2001, Toyota introduced the Estima Hybrid minivan, followed by the Crown mild hybrid, both only in the Japanese market. Toyota introduced the second-generation Prius, equipped with the Toyota Hybrid System II in 2003, along with the Alphard, Dyna and Toyoace hybrids, the last three for Japan only.
Toyota launched the Harrier Hybrid (RX400h) and Kluger Hybrid (Highlander Hybrid) in 2005. The following year saw the introduction of the GS450h, the Camry Hybrid and a redesign of the Estima Hybrid. Prius sales topped the 500,000 mark. In May 2007, Toyota launched the luxury LS600h / LS600h L hybrid.
Toyota sells its hybrid vehicles in Japan and in more than 40 countries and regions around the world. The company began overseas production of hybrid vehicles in Changchun, China in 2005 and in Kentucky in the United States in 2006.
Toyota’s goal is to achieve annual sales of 1 million hybrids in the early part of the 2010s.