Toyota is planning to offer a hybrid version of every model in its car range to help it achieve its goal of selling 1 million hybrid cars a year.
The company’s chief executive Katsuaki Watanabe is understood to have made the commitment in a speech in Japan over the New Year.
A Toyota GB spokesman admits the company’s range of hybrids will be “expanded a lot in the future”. Toyota set the 1-million-per-year sales target in 2005, after its Prius model was named Car of the Year.
Marketing Week revealed last year that Toyota’s sister marque Lexus was planning to launch a hybrid option for all of its vehicles within two years (MW April 12, 2007). The marque sold two hybrids at the time – the RX and the GS – and has since launched a hybrid version of the LS. The two remaining models in its range – the SC and 3-series rival the IS – will be available as hybrids by next year.
Professor Garel Rhys, director of the Institute of Automotive Industry Research, said at the time that Toyota was using Lexus as a “test-bed for the rest of its empire to see whether hybrid technology will spread across all sectors”.
At present, the only hybrid that Toyota offers in the UK is the Prius, although it sells several hybrid models in the US and ten in Japan.
This week, Porsche said it would launch a hybrid version of its new Panamera model as part of an increased focus on the environment.