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Worldwide sales of Toyota Motor hybrids top 4M units; Prius family accounts for almost 72%

Cumulative worldwide sales of TMC hybrids. Data: TMC. Click to enlarge.

Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) announced that global cumulative sales of its hybrid vehicles—passenger car and commercial—topped the 4-million unit mark as of 30 April. The company reached the 3-million mark with its hybrids in February 2011.

Of these, the original Prius (liftback) accounts for 65.8% of cumulative sales, with 2.631 million units sold—44% of those sales were in Japan, and 56% overseas. The expanded Prius family—Prius, Prius α/v (138K), 81% in Japan; Prius Aqua/c (95.5K), 87% in Japan; and Prius PHV (7.3K), 64% in Japan—accounts for 71.8% of cumulative TMC hybrid sales.

After the Prius, the second-best selling hybrid for TMC has been the Camry, with 269.6 thousand units sold, with 95% of those sales occurring outside of Japan. In third place is the Rx 400h/Rx 450h, with 238.6 thousand units sold cumulatively, with 92.8% of those sales outside of Japan.

TMC currently sells 18 hybrid, passenger vehicle models in approximately 80 countries and regions around the world. This year, hybrid vehicles have accounted for 15% of TMC’s global vehicle sales. With the upcoming “Yaris Hybrid” scheduled for launch in Europe and the Lexus “ES 300h” for the United States, TMC is committed to augmenting its hybrid product lineup further, and increasing the number of countries and regions in which it sells hybrid vehicles.

Annual sales of TMC hybrids, Japan and Overseas. Data: TMC. Click to enlarge.

In 1997 in Japan, TMC launched the “Coaster Hybrid EV” in August and launched the “Prius”—the world's first mass-produced hybrid passenger vehicle—in December. Sales of the Prius began in North America, Europe and elsewhere in 2000. The second-generation Prius followed in 2003 along with the expanded use of TMC’s hybrid system on such vehicles as minivans, SUVs, rear-wheel-drive sedans and compact hatchbacks.

The third-generation Prius launched in May 2009 received strong support from customers around the world, leading to global cumulative sales of TMC’s hybrid vehicles topping 3 million vehicles by the end of February 2011.

As of April 30, 2012, TMC calculates that TMC hybrid vehicles, since 1997, have led to approximately 26 million fewer tons of CO2 emissions than would have been emitted by gasoline-powered vehicles of similar size and driving performance.

Cumulative sales of select TMC hybrids. Click to enlarge.



This is an amazing Toyota success story. With 20 hybrid models and over 4,000,000 units by the end of 2012, Toyota is definitely the world Hybrid leader and Japan the world leading buyer.

Toyota's contribution to greener more fuel efficient cars is an example to be copied and followed.

Who will catch up and when?


Imagine the fuel saved by 4 million hybrids. With the exception of the PHV model, they do not require external fuel (electricity) to save gallons of gasoline.


Remember all those GM corporate officers saying, for years, that the Prius/hybrid would never sell or make a profit.

At least they stole their eight figure pensions from their stockholders in time.


Who will catch up and when?

Toyota has had a good run with the Prius but it you look at the data, their sales are trending down while the overall automobile market going up. This is not a good trend. It is always hard to make predictions (especially about the future :)) but my first guess would be Ford by 2014 unless you want to count GM's "eAssist" or “Light Electrification” technology as hybrid cars (probably not). There is also Hyundai with their hybrid Sonata. Toyota's cars look dull and out-of-date compared to some of Ford and Hyundai offerings


sd...have a second look, 2011 was slow due to what you should know what (a major Act of God?) but 2012 will be (as the graph shows) a record hybrid year for Toyota.


HarveyD is right, sd. There's only 1/3 of 2012 shown.

JUST at this rate, with some models not marketed yet, the hybrids are at a 1,275,000 2012 sales rate - if Toyota can build them that fast.

Note, Toyota officers aren't paid $22 million pensions, even after having to be fired by a US President.


Gasoline was/is over $7.70/gal US in Japan, Israel, parts of Europe,.. this month.

With millions upon millions of hybrids sold, Toyota has created the best present, no 'range anxiety' oil solution.

If other automakers suddenly find 'new' ICE mpg improvements http://www.mpgomatic.com/2007/10/16/honda-civic-gas-mileage-1978-2007/ (note that some Civics had 50+mph since 1984) - Toyota just adds any REAL improvements to the gas part of their hybrid. The 'no X-speed' transmission savings are always built-in.

An ultra simple battery electric vehicle, with a 'as needed' constant velocity genset, might be the only low cost/high mpg competition.

I actually followed a new red Prius up a freeway ramp this morning. Being blocked by a Prius, I fooled with my radio. When I looked up, the Prius was a eighth mile away.

Toyota may be doing secret speed things to the red ones..


One factor that might not be considered is that longer trips get shifted onto the Prius in homes that own Prius. So these cars should have a higher weighting factor when considering how many gallons of gas are being saved - i.e., the average Prius car puts on more miles per year than the average car.

BTW - "Anyone commenting here own a Prius?"

Bob Wallace

From a study of California cars...

"On average Prius owners drove 13,130 VMT/year compared to 13,064 VMT/year for non-Prius owners—a difference of a mere 0.5%."

Source: Clean Technica (http://s.tt/18mfw)

(VMT - vehicle miles traveled.)


@BW..thank you for the pertinent info.


@Bob Wallace. Interesting study. I just sent a note to the author of the study to see if he had enough data to say if within a household, the miles driven in that household shift to the Prius. It's not an apples to apples study to say that just because Prius miles are similar to miles on other cars, that no mile shifting goes on. On the otherhand, I think it does say that any mile shifting going on, is not significant on a large scale to affect total gasoline consumption.


Remember all those GM corporate officers saying, for years, that the Prius/hybrid would never make an impact?

US sales

May 2012 - - - - - - - - Percent of total

Volt - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 0.13%
Prius PHV - - - - - - - - - - - 0.08%
Leaf- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 0.04%
All Prius - - - - - - - - - - - - 0.25%
All Prius + Volt + Leaf - - - - - 0.44%

All are rather small numbers for "mainstream" production vehicles.
Is some game getting changed?

Are early EVs improving the breed or just an gift to greenies partly paid for by others?

Are they improving the breed - where have we come in 12 years?

The Prius should rightfully supplant the EV1 in history, as the icon of EVs. It is elegantly simple and truly historic (and Toyota stoic).

There are many in this forum that do not understand the success of the Prius is still largely symbolic. Just sayin'.

But batteries are getting better – it’s just a matter of time - EVs have so much to offer.

Ref: Volt top-selling plug-in vehicle in US in May, followed by Prius PHV; 1 June 2012 greencarcongress


Oops - I used Prius c instead of Prius Family, above.

May 2012 - - - - - - - - Percent of total US sales

Volt - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 0.13%
Prius PHV - - - - - - - - - - - - 0.08%
Leaf- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 0.04%
All Prius - - - - - - - - - - - - - 1.6% not 0.25%
All Prius + Volt + Leaf - - - - 1.8% not 0.44%


So far in 2012 (and for the first time), over 10% of Toyota sales in Canada were for electrified hybrids (it was almost 50% in Japan).

The Prius was the world third best selling car with 250K units during the first 3 month of 2012. Only the Corolla (300K) and the Focus (274K) did better.

The Prius, with over 4,000,000 sold is a world wide success story. Prius sales are pick up most every where and the next 4,000,000 may be sold by 2015. Will it reach the Ford T and VW Beatle by 2020/2025?

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