As Gas Prices Rise, Toyota's Hybrid Sales Pass 3 Million
Sales ofToyota's (TM) gas-electric hybrid vehicles have passed3 millionunits worldwide, according to Nikkei Business and several other media accounts. The company's Prius, the first mass-produced hybrid car, was introduced in Japan in 1997 and launched in the U.S. in 2001.
Most major car companies have introduced hybrids of their own, but there is no evidence that any of these models have come close to matching thePriusin units sold. By way of comparison, about 12 million cars and light trucks will be sold in the U.S. this year. In China, the world's largest car market, sales should be about 14 million.
Automoblogsummed up the success of the Prius: "As expected, the Toyota Prius makes up the lion's share of the brand's hybrid sales. Accounting for 72% of the world sales of Toyota hybrid vehicles, three generations of the Prius popularity is set to gain more product diversity this year when the Prius V and aplug-in hybridversion arrive for sale."