Toyota announced today that global cumulative sales of its hybrid vehicles have topped the 3 million mark. The 3.03 million worldwide sales milestone—achieved between 1997 to February 2011—further establishes gas-electric hybrids as a proven sustainable mainstream automotive technology.
Toyota launched the Coaster Hybrid bus, the company’s first hybrid, in August 1997, in Japan. The original Prius followed four months later in December 1997.
Toyota currently sells 16 hybrid vehicle models in approximately 80 countries and regions around the world, including three commercial vehicle models in Japan. The company plans to introduce 10 new hybrids by the end of 2012, including six newly launched vehicles and four vehicles that have been redesigned.
It took Toyota 10 years to reach its first 1 million global hybrid sales—but the pace of hybrid deployment is accelerating. The second million hybrid sales came in two years, in May 2009. Toyota obtained its third million sales of hybrid gas-electric cars in about 21 months—during a major downturn in global automotive sales. The company is moving closer to achieving its long-term goal of selling 1 million hybrids annually.