The milestone 400,000th hybrid is a company car in Belgium, where Toyota Europe is based

The milestone 400,000th hybrid is a company car in Belgium, where Toyota Europe is based

Toyota has delivered its 400,000th hybrid in Europe. The milestone car was a UK-built Auris handed over to Valentine Nkwocha in Anderlecht, Belgium, as a company car from his employer CTG, an IT-consultancy. The company recently ordered over 20 Auris Hybrids for its junior consultants.

Toyota's first hybrid sold in Europe was the first generation Prius (sedan) in 2000. Two hatchback Prius generations have followed and, in 2010, the Auris, produced in Burnaston, England, joined the line. The French-built Yaris hybrid is due on sale later this year.

Toyota, which also sells Lexus GS sedan and RX SUV hybrid models, said 10% of sales in Europe last year were hybrids.

World-wide, the automaker has now sold over 3.5m hybrids since the first Prius went on sale in Japan in 1997.

Toyota claims this represents a reduction of over 23m tons of CO2 emissions.

In Europe, the new seven-seater Toyota Prius+ and a plug-in version of the current five-seat hatchback also go on sale this year; the Prius C (Aqua in Japan) is not coming to Europe as it would compete with the (Europe-only) Auris hybrid.