Total global sales of Toyota and Lexus full hybrid vehicles have hit the 4 million mark as of 30 April 2012. Cumulative sales of full hybrid vehicles in Europe reached 423,000 units, and 94,000 in the UK.
The Toyota Prius , the world’s first mass-produced hybrid passenger vehicle, was launched in December, 1997 in Japan. However the first hybrid vehicle was actually a bus, the Toyota Coaster Hybrid EV, which was introduced to the Japanese market in August 1997.
Sales of the Prius began in Europe, North America and elsewhere in 2000. The second generation Toyota Prius was launched in 2003 at which point the company expanded the use of its full hybrid technology to vehicles such as minivans, SUVs, luxury saloons and family hatchbacks. The third-generation Prius was launched in May 2009 and led to global cumulative sales of Toyota hybrid vehicles topping 3 million vehicles by the end of February 2011.
As Toyota’s hybrid range expanded, localised production started such as the UK-built Toyota Auris Hybrid and the forthcoming Toyota Yaris Hybrid which will be built in France. Later this year, the range will appeal to an even wider audience with the launch of the seven seat Prius+ and Prius Plug-in Hybrid.
Globally, Toyota currently sells 19 full hybrid passenger vehicle models in approximately 80 countries. This year, hybrid vehicles have accounted for 15% of Toyota’s global vehicle sales.
Toyota estimates its full hybrid vehicles have led to a saving of approximately 26 million tonnes of CO 2 emissions compared to what would have been emitted by petrol or diesel powered vehicles of similar size and driving performance.
Having positioned hybrid as a key technology, Toyota plans to continue working to further raise performance, reduce costs, and expand its product line-up, including that of non-hybrid environment-friendly vehicles.
| Year|| Month|| Milestone|
|1997||Mar||Toyota Hybrid System (THS) unveiled|
|Aug||Coaster Hybrid EV launched (Japan only)|
|2000||Nov||Start of full hybrid sales in Europe; Cumulative Prius sales top 50,000 vehicles|
|2001||Jun||Estima (Previa) Hybrid launched (Japan only)|
|Aug||Crown Mild Hybrid launched (Japan only)|
|2002|| Mar|| Cumulative hybrid vehicle sales top 100,000 mark|
|Aug||Cumulative Prius sales top 100,000 vehicles|
|2003||Apr||Toyota Hybrid System II (THS II) unveiled|
|Jul||Alphard Hybrid launched (Japan only)|
|Sep||Second-generation Prius launched|
|Nov||Dyna Hybrid and Toyoace Hybrid launched (Japan only)|
|2005||Mar||Harrier Hybrid (RX 400h) and Kluger Hybrid (Highlander Hybrid) launched|
| Oct|| Cumulative hybrid vehicle sales top 500,000 mark|
|Dec||Second-generation Prius production commenced at the Changchunplant in China|
|2006||Mar||GS 450h launched in Japan|
|Apr||Cumulative Prius sales top 500,000 vehicles|
|May||Camry Hybrid launched (for sale outside Japan)|
|Jun||Redesigned Estima Hybrid launched (Japan only)|
|Oct||Camry Hybrid production commenced at the TMMK’s Kentucky Plant, U.S.; Quick Delivery 200 launched (Japan only)|
|2007||May|| Cumulative hybrid vehicle sales top 1 million mark|
; LS 600h/LS 600hL launched
|2008||Feb||Crown Hybrid unveiled (launched in April; Japan only)|
|May||Cumulative Prius sales top 1 million vehicles|
|2009||Jan||RX 450h unveiled (launched in April)|
|May||Third-generation Prius launched|
|Jul||Camry Hybrid production commenced at the TMT’s Gateway Plant, Thailand; HS 250h launched|
|Aug|| Cumulative hybrid vehicle sales top 2 million mark|
|Oct||Sai unveiled (launched in December, Japan only)|
|Dec||Camry Hybrid production commenced at the TMCA’s Altona Plant, Australia|
|2010||Apr||Camry Hybrid production commenced at the GTMC’s plant in China|
|Jun||Auris Hybrid production commenced at the TMUK’s Burnaston Plant, UK; Auris Hybrid launched (for sale outside Japan)|
|Jul||Cumulative sales in Japan of TMC hybrids top 1 million vehicles|
|Sep||Cumulative Prius sales top 2 million vehicles|
|Nov||Third-generation Prius production commenced at TMT’s Gateway Plant, Thailand|
|2011||Jan||Annual Prius sales in Japan of new vehicles in 2010 were 315,669 vehicles, the largest amount of annual sales ever recorded; CT 200h unveiled|
|Feb|| Cumulative hybrid vehicle sales top 3 million mark|
|May||Prius ? launched|
|Aug||Prius sales in Japan top 1 million mark; Camry Hybrid unveiled; Hybrid models of the Alphard and Vellfire added (launched in November, Japan only);|
|Oct||TMEC of China conducts cornerstone laying ceremony and announces plan to produce and sell vehicles with hybrid system produced in China jointly with China FAW Group and GAC by around 2015|
|Nov||Prius PHV unveiled (launched in January 2012 in Japan and March in the U.S.and scheduled for launch in Europe in the summer of 2012)|
|Dec||Production of third-generation Prius commenced at SFTM’s Changchun Plant in China; Aqua unveiled|
|2012||Jan||Redesigned GS 450h launched|
|Feb||Start of Highlander Hybrid production at Indiana Plant in the U.S.in the second half of 2013 announced; production and sale of Camry Hybrid in Taiwan commenced|
|Apr|| Cumulative hybrid vehicle sales top 4 million mark|