Toyota expects new hybrid lineup will aid in profitability goal

Article by Christian A., on March 8, 2011

Toyota Motor Europe is relying on an expanded lineup of gasoline-electric hybrids to become profitable once again in the region. Toyota and its Lexus luxury brand are preparing to launch 10 new hybrids in Europe over the next two years. The launches are meant to generate about 20% of Toyota's total European sales, or about 200,000 units in 2013.

Toyota Europe CEO Didier Leroy told Automotive News Europe that returning to profitability was his top priority when he took over Toyota Motor Europe a year ago.

He also said that he considers hybrid models to have a crucial role in its plan of a sustainable and profitable growth. In 2010, about 9% of Toyota's European sales were from four hybrid models -- the Toyota Prius, Auris, and four Lexus hybrids.

In an interview with Automotive News Europe, Michel Gardel, Toyota Europe's head of external and environmental affairs, said that the goal is to raise the hybrid share to 20% by 2013. According to Toyota's Germany boss Ulrich Selzer, Toyota/Lexus sold 70,500 hybrid cars in Europe last year.

It also sold 42,300 Prius cars, 15,000 Auris hybrids and 12,000 Lexus hybrids. Selzer said that its slogan is “Hybrid for everybody.” In 2011, Toyota and Lexus plans to sell 880,000 units, an increase from 808,000 units last year, in its 53-market region, including the EU, Russia and Turkey.

This sales goal matches Toyota’s European sales of 2009. Leroy said that the company might regain volume and market share faster, but he personally aims for “a sustainable, profitable growth."

Russia is Toyota Europe's biggest market while UK is ranked second and Germany and France tie for third place. [via autonews - sub. required]

Topics: toyota, hybrid, lineup

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