In 1997, the first Toyota Prius went on sale and it signalled Toyota’s ambition to become the global leader in hybrid vehicle technology. When it came into the global market, people were not suitably surprised by its appearance, there was nothing special about the hyped car. Nearly 25 years later, Toyota is now the world’s biggest seller of hybrid vehicles. Toyota camry has sold its 15th Million Hybrid vehicles in January 2020 but the path to becoming the leader wasn’t smooth sailing. It took the Japanese automaker 12 years to sell 2 million hybrid vehicles by August 2009. The 15 million figure includes sales from both the Toyota brand and Lexus luxury brand. RX 400h crossover was the first hybrid model from Lexus brand in 2005.
Adoption of Hybrid vehicles soon became the part of Toyota’s strategy and in next 4 years, it sold over 5 million vehicles more. Toyota started adding hybrid tech to more and more cars, ranging from hatchbacks to luxury SUV’s, sports cars and limousines. With global warming and sustainability becoming important in today’s world, consumers are looking to buy vehicles with hybrid technology. Toyota hybrids are becoming more and more affordable and convenient to use which reflects in its sales numbers.
From first Prius in 1997, Toyota Motor Corporation has come a long way with 44 hybrid electric vehicles available globally. 2.8 million vehicles have been sold in Europe alone where the United Kingdom is one of the main markets for Toyota’s hybrid vehicles. Currently, hybrid vehicles represent exactly 66.1 pecent share of Toyota’s yearly sales in the U.K.
Coming to its future plans, Toyota wants to offer a mix of powertrains, including hybrid, plug-in hybrid, hydrogen fuel cell, and battery-electric. Toyota Motor Corporation initially was sceptical of battery-electric vehicles but now it is acknowledging the importance of EV's in reducing emissions further.
In India, Toyota Kirloskar Motors currently sells one hybrid vehicle - Toyota Camry as it has discontinued the Prius. Powered by a 4 cylinders, gasoline-hybrid 2,487 cc engine, it churns out 176 bhp of maximum power and 221 Nm of peak torque. Transmission duties are handled by CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) Sequential Shift with paddles. In Hybrid mode, Camry is powered by a nickel-metal hydride battery delivering 118 bhp of maximum power and 202 Nm of peak torque. Toyota Camry Hybrid currently compete with the 2020 Skoda Superb Facelift in the Indian market.