Toyota managed to sell over a million hybrid vehicles around the world in 2013, the second year in a row. The Japanese carmaker said in a statement that it sold 1.279 million hybrid vehicles in 2013, a slight increase from 1.219 million units in 2012. The gain of 60,000 units was the smallest surge since 2004, except in 2008 when global sales were flat and in 2011 when deliveries of hybrid units dropped following the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan that year.
The slowdown in hybrid sales was due to tepid demand in Japan and to a comparison against unusually high hybrid sales in 2012, when Toyota’s global hybrid sales nearly doubled. The 2012 surge was boosted by Japanese eco-car subsidies and by recovering supply.
When the subsidies were phased out in 2013, Toyota’s sales of hybrids in Japan started to slow down. In fact, Toyota’s hybrid sales in Japan surged by only 1,100 units to 679,100 vehicles.
Toyota, however, gained 4 percent in North America, representing a surge of 13,600 units to 358,100. “We aimed to maintain sales of one million units through the introduction of new hybrid models,” Toyota spokesman Dion Corbett remarked.
Toyota launched a number of new hybrids in 2013 and at the very end of 2012, including the Crown Hybrid, Avalon Hybrid, Lexus IS 300h, Corolla Axio Hybrid, Corolla Fielder Hybrid, Crown Majesta Hybrid and the Lexus GS 300h.
Toyota is now offering 24 hybrid models and one plug-in hybrid in around 80 countries around the world. The carmaker is also planning introduce 15 more hybrids in the next two years. Since launching its first hybrid in August 1997, Toyota has already sold a total of 6.073 million hybrids.