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Toyota and Lexus achieve impressive hybrid sales

Toyota and Lexus have confirmed that between them, they have sold more than five million hybrid vehicles globally since 1997, with these sorts of cars firmly on the radar of many motorists.

The major driving force behind this good news is that the Prius has quickly become one of the world’s best-selling cars in this sector with a large number sold all around the world.

However, it features on forecourts with as many as 20 different hybrids, including the first Toyota plug-in hybrid, with the firm planning on bringing 18 new hybrids and a fuel cell vehicle to the market in the next two years.

As well as making for an impressive sales boost, the company also claims that it has had a major impact on the environment as well with these hybrid vehicles helping to reduce the amount of CO2 entering the atmosphere by 34 million tonnes.

This is compared to petrol-powered vehicles of similar size and performance, with the firm estimating that hybrid vehicles have also seen around 1.2 billion litres of petrol saved.

According to Takeshi Uchiyamada, Toyota Motor Corporation's vice-chairman, the company will continue to look to raise performance, as well as reduce costs and expand its hybrid product range.

Mr Uchiyamada, who was responsible for development of the first-generation Prius, said: "We developed the first-generation Prius with the aim of making it a car for the 21st century and as an indication of Toyota’s response to environmental issues.

"We had to develop a hybrid system from scratch, making our task extremely difficult. Nevertheless, we took on the challenge.

"The launch of the first-generation Prius had effects beyond our expectations, with the vehicle increasing consumer environmental awareness and raising hybrid vehicle expectations."

Currently, there are nine Toyota and Lexus hybrids available within the UK and that looks set to increase in the next few months.

The IS 300h executive sports saloon is set to be released onto UK forecourts this summer.


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