Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) said global cumulative sales of its hybrid vehicles have topped the 3m mark, with over 3.03m units sold worldwide as of 28 February. 

In 1997 in Japan, TMC launched the Coaster Hybrid EV [a small bus] in August and launched the Prius – the world’s first mass-produced hybrid vehicle – in December.  Sales of the Prius began in North America, Europe and elsewhere in 2000. Next came the second-generation Prius in 2003 – a hatchback instead of a sedan – and the expanded use of TMC’s hybrid system on such vehicles as minivans, SUVs, rear-wheel drive sedans and hatchbacks. The third-generation Prius went on sale in May 2009 and global cumulative sales of TMC’s hybrid vehicles topped 2m by the end of August that year. 

This year, TMC continued to expand its hybrid vehicle lineup, launching the Lexus CT 200h – the first dedicated hybrid model in the premium-compact segment – in January. TMC currently sells 16 hybrid vehicle models in 80 countries and regions around the world, including three commercial vehicle models in Japan.

It plans to introduce 10 new model hybrid vehicles by the end of 2012, including six newly launched vehicles and four that have been redesigned.

“TMC is committed to augmenting this lineup even further and increasing the number of countries and regions in which it sells hybrid vehicles,” it said. 

The automaker claimed that its hybrid vehicles, since 1997, have led to approximately 18m fewer tons of CO2 emissions than would have been emitted by petrol-powered vehicles of similar size and driving performance. 

“With global cumulative sales of its hybrid vehicles passing the 3m mark, TMC believes that such vehicles are starting to enter the mainstream,” it said.