Toyota is expecting that the Auris gasoline-electric hybrid will account for 25% of the compact car's sales in Europe. Smaller than the Prius, the Auris hybrid is the first full hybrid car designed to rival the Volkswagen Golf in Europe's highly competitive compact car segment. Last year, the Auris' European sales dropped by 28.6% to 98,137, compared to last year.
Jato Dynamics market research company said that January to April sales fell by 21.2% to 27,103. Toyota is hopeful that Auris hybrid sales will be in addition to, and will not substitute, sales of gasoline and diesel versions of the Auris.
Toyota aims for 30,000 annual sales for the five-door hybrid hatchback, which is rolled out alongside the conventional Auris and the Avensis at Toyota's plant in Burnaston, central England. Powered by a 136-hp 1.8-liter engine, the hybrid uses 3.8 liters of gasoline per 100km and has CO2 emissions of only 89 grams per kilometer.
A similarly powered Auris, the 132-hp 1.6-liter gasoline version, emits 146g/km. The cleanest Auris previously had been the 90-hp 1.4-liter diesel version, which emits only 118g/km.
It's possible that if Auris hybrid sales are strong, Toyota could overtake Fiat S.p.A. as Europe's greenest automaker. In 2009, Toyota closed the gap on Fiat by reducing the average CO2 emissions of its new-car fleet in Europe to 130.1 g/km from 144.9 g/km in 2008. The CO2 emissions of Fiat brand were 127.8 g/km.