Toyota has quite a tradition in building high-quality hybrid vehicles and it appears that this type of cars will be the key in reviving its U.S. sales. For those who don’t know, Toyota’s sales were hammered by the recalls but also by the Japan earthquake. Still, Toyota moved on and now it is ready to introduce two new Prius models next year but it is also planning to enter new hybrid segments such as big pickups. Moreover, the Japanese carmaker wants to shift more hybrid production to its North American plants due to the rising yen.
Apparently, this strategy could even double the number of of gasoline-electric vehicles sold annually in North America to 400,000 by 2015. But it seems that this strategy has risks as the demand for expensive hybrids correlates closely with gasoline prices.
Other automakers are catching up in fuel economy using cheaper methods such as improvements to internal-combustion drivetrains.
Bob Carter, Toyota Division general manager, said, "Hybrids are a big part of our growth strategy." Moreover, Carter said that Toyota expects the Prius family to surpass the Camry in the second half of this decade and become firm’s best-selling nameplate.
Toyota recently launched the Prius V in the United States, it also started to take orders for the plug-in Prius and it will also launch the Prius C hatchback based on the Yaris.