Global sales of Toyota hybrid vehicles have just reached the 4 million mark, the automaker revealed today. The news comes just a year after it announced total hybrid sales reached the 3 million mark.
Toyota said it reached the new milestone on April 30, almost 15 years after the automaker launched its first hybrid vehicle. That hybrid was the Coaster Hybrid EV passenger bus (Japan market) followed a few months later by the first-generation Prius, which launched in December 1997 but didn’t come to the U.S. until 2000. The Prius reached another significant milestone early last year when Toyota announced the sale of its one-millionth Prius hybrid in the U.S.
Today, the Prius family has grown to four models, including the new Prius plug-in hybrid, which recently launched here in the States and will arrive in European showrooms this summer. Toyota and Lexus offer nearly 20 hybrid models worldwide, and the company expects sales to grow at an even faster rate thanks to localized production and new models in the pipeline. The Camry hybrid, for example, has just started production in Taiwan, while the upcoming Yaris hybrid is slated to be built in France.
Not surprisingly, Toyota continues to dominate other automakers in total hybrid sales and models offered. Its rival Honda, for example, has sold 800,000 hybrids worldwide as of the end of 2011. Honda currently sells seven hybrid models, including the CR-Z, Insight, and Civic Hybrid, with the Acura ILX hybrid on the way.