Prius family’s humble beginnings turn into a juggernaut.
Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG
- May 22, 2012
In the beginning there was the first generation Toyota Prius – It was ungainly yet advanced and who would have known it was the start of something much bigger to come?
Toyota unleashed a bevy of PR’s from around the world showing global sales of Toyota and Lexus full hybrid vehicles have finally topped topped the 4 million vehicles sold as of April 30.
In response to environmental and fuel costs, Toyota embarked on a bold plan to revamp a significant percentage of automobile offerings in a manner the world had never seen before. With management backing the belief that environmentally friendly vehicles can only truly have a positive impact if they are used disbursed, Toyota took upon itself a massive undertaking to promote the mass-market adoption of fuel efficient and low emissions producing hybrid vehicles.
It Started with a Bus
The world’s first mass-produced hybrid passenger vehicle was launched in December, 1997 in Japan, but the first hybrid vehicles 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 and North America in 2000. The second generation Toyota Prius was launched in 2003 and expanded further when according to the company its full hybrid technology was installed in Japanese Domestic Market minivans, SUV’s, luxury sedans and family hatchbacks. The third-generation Prius launched in May 2009 and was a hit with customers around the world, leading to global cumulative sales of Toyota hybrid vehicles topping 3 million vehicles by the end of February, 2011.
2004 – 2009 Second Generation Prius
As Toyota’s hybrid range expanded localized production began including the UK built Toyota Auris Hybrid and upcoming Toyota Yaris Hybrid which will be built in France. Later this year, the range expands yet again with the launch of the seven seat Prius+ (our v) and Prius PHEV.
Cumulative sales of full hybrid vehicles in Europe reached 423,000 units. In the UK the number is 94,000.
Globally, Toyota currently sells 18 full hybrid passenger vehicle models in approximately 80 countries. This year, hybrid vehicles have accounted for 15% of Toyota’s global vehicle sales while in Europe full hybrid vehicles account for 10% of sales of Toyota and Lexus vehicles.
Toyota Motor Europe plans to increase sales share of Toyota and Lexus full hybrid vehicles in 2012 to 14%.
Third Generation 2010 Toyota Prius
A Global Milestone
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 product lineup even further and increasing the number of countries and regions in which it sells hybrid vehicles.
Toyota estimates its full hybrid vehicles have led to a reduction of as much as 30 million tons of CO2 compared to what would have been emitted by Prius owners driving gasoline or diesel powered vehicles of similar size and performance.
The fuel savings has been estimated to be almost 2.4 Billion gallons which is the equivalent to the total annual gasoline and diesel consumption of a country like Belgium in 2012
2012 Toyota Prius v
Prius Hybrid Timeline
2013 Lexus GS 450h
Toyota Hybrid Vehicle Sales by Year
|1997||Mar||Toyota Hybrid System (THS) unveiled |
| ||Aug||Coaster Hybrid EV launched (Japan only) |
| ||Dec||Gen 1 Prius launched |
|2000||Nov||Start of full hybrid sales in US and 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 inChina |
|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 α 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 PHEV 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 theU.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|
(Unit = 1,000 vehicles)
|Locale||2000||2001||2002||2003||2004||2005||2006||2007||2008||2009||2010||2011||Jan – Apr 2012 |
* Includes 1997 - 1999 Sales.
2013 Lexus ES 300h
To think of the market the domestics have given up over the last decade in pursuit of inefficient PU’s, SUVs and Crossovers instead of a world class hybrid automobiles. To be fair, Toyota also designs and sells similar inefficient vehicles as well.