Toyota Wants to Strengthen is Position in the Hybrid Segment
Senior European Editor
The Auto Channel
GENEVA, March 4, 2009;Toyota wants to sell 400,000 units of the Prius to strengthen its number one position as supplier of hybrid cars,” said Toyota Motor Europe’s CEO Tadashi Arashimi on the eve of the Geneva auto show.
With the Prius, Toyota wants to grow some 15 percent, which means a sale of 60,000 cars.
Since the Prius hit the markets seven years ago, in 2008 a total of around 180,000 units were sold in Europe. Of this amount 6,500 units were sold in The Netherlands versus 2,226 in 2007. The increase was due to financial stimulation package of the Dutch government. It means that for hybrids, there is not the extra tax, wich means a drop in costs of around 5,000 euroe (more than 6,000 dollar) for the sales price.
Arashimi said that Toyota will continue to concentrate on R&D and that his company will also have to concentrate on the time after the crisis. The Japanese manufacturer plans to come with 150 units of a plug-in hybrid for tests to Europe.
The outcome of the tests are of importance for Toyota’s plans to introduce the successor of the recently unveiled Prius, due in 2012, that should have model with lithium-ion batteries. Such was already the plan with the current Prius, but because of safety issues of the li-on batteries, the debut was postponed and finally Toyota decided not t give the new Prius li-ion batteries.
According to Mr. Arashimi, Toyota wants to have more than 10 hybrid versions of its models on the market in early 2010. In 2020 the car manufacturer wants to have a hybrid version available of each and every Toyota model