Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) announces that as of the end of June, worldwide cumulative sales of the “Prius” gasoline-electric hybrid vehicle passed the 3-million mark.
In 1997, TMC launched the Prius, which was the world’s first mass-produced hybrid passenger car. The second generation followed in 2003, and the third generation in 2009. From the first to third generation, TMC greatly reduced the cost of the hybrid system by two-thirds and increased fuel efficiency from 28 km/L to 38 km/L*2. In addition, TMC applied for 1,261 patents relating to the third-generation Prius, achieving progress worthy of the Prius name (derived from a Latin word meaning “to go before”).
Nobuyuki Negishi, Chief Representative of Middle East & North Africa Representative Office, Toyota Motor Corporation said, “The sustained growth in sales of the Prius signifies the success of TMC in addressing the need for hybrid vehicles from environmentally conscious customers. With our state-of-the art- technology and hybrid car expertise, we will continue our emphasis on environmental technologies to build the best vehicles for our customers.”
Since the development of the first-generation Prius, TMC has positioned hybrid technology as a core technology required for the development of various types of environment-friendly vehicles and has placed emphasis on the development and production of core components such as motors, inverters, batteries and electronic control units (ECUs), giving rise to substantial investment. TMC will launch a total of 17 new hybrid vehicles worldwide by 2015
TMC will continue to conduct R&D and invest in facilities for the development of hybrid and other cutting-edge technologies and achieve sustainable growth by deploying these developed technologies across the globe. In line with this commitment, in 2012 TMC also brought hybrid technology to the race track by returning to endurance racing as a full-time entrant with a hybrid LMP1 car making history by becoming the first manufacturer to build a team entirely around a hybrid powertrain. The car had a successful first season winning three of the six races it entered.
In the fiscal year ending March 2014, TMC expects to spend a consolidated 890 billion yen*3 (790 billion yen*4 unconsolidated) on environmental technology development, as well as on strengthening new platform and major component development.
In the same period, TMC also plans to make consolidated capital expenditure investments of 910 billion yen (up seven percent year-on-year), with 440 billion yen invested in Japan (up nine percent year-on-year).