Toyota’s ‘grandfather’ of the Prius forecasts 20 percent hybrid market share ‘soon’

The man originally responsible for the Toyota Prius’ development has predicted the company’s global market share for hybrids will soon increase from 13-14 percent to 20 percent.

“I foresee hybrid models pretty soon reaching 20 percent of global sales from about 13 percent to 14 percent now,” said Toyota Chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada in an article by Automotive News Europe.

Toyota has been extremely bullish on hybrids even as the hybrid market has cooled off in general, and Prius Liftback sales flattened out last year in particular.

The Liftback by itself commands 25 percent of the U.S. market and it and other Toyotas have seen slowing of late.

Undeterred, the view from Toyota in Japan is worldwide plans to proliferate more and more Toyota and Lexus hybrids will continue.

This, Uchiyamada said despite the meager market share hybrids have in Europe where diesels outsell them, being in cases less expensive with comparable fuel economy.

The “take rate” in Europe is less than 2 percent, and total volume of all hybrid makes and models there is less than the Prius family enjoyed last year.

The U.S. on the other hand are the strongest markets. Toyota’s products enjoy solid loyalty in its home country and here as well, they combined hold about 60 percent of the U.S. hybrid market share.

Automotive News (subscription req’d)