Toyota hybrid vehicle sales top 4 million worldwide
Toyota Motor Sales has announced that cumulative global sales of its hybrid-powered vehicles topped the 4 million mark at the end of last month. Since 1997, when Toyota's first hybrid models went on sale in Japan, the automaker has seen its gas-electric lineup thrive, based primarily on the strength of the Prius. By 2007, Toyota's hybrid total had exceeded the 1 million mark. In 2009, the figure surpassed 2 million on its way to breaking the 3 million barrier in February of last year.
Hybrid-powered passenger vehicles currently account for 15 percent of Toyota Motor Corporation's global sales totals. It now has 18 different hybrid passenger vehicles on offer in over 80 countries around the world with two more, a Toyota Yaris Hybrid for Europe and the new Lexus ES 300h for the U.S. set to launch shortly. According to its internal sources, the automaker estimates that since 1997 this high-mileage hybrid fleet has collectively helped reduce CO2 emission levels by some 26 million tons.