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Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) has sold more than one million hybrids in 2012, resulting in the best sales year on record for Toyota and Lexus hybrids and giving even more credibility to the technology’s growing popularity.

By the end of October this year, Toyota and Lexus had jointly sold 1,028,900 hybrid vehicles worldwide, which is a significant improvement over the same period last year, when TMC had sold around 630,000.

The result makes Toyota the most popular manufacturer of hybrid vehicles worldwide, as Honda announced last week that it had sold one million hybrids in total since it introduced the technology in 1999.

Nonetheless, hybrid sales still represent a small portion of overall sales with 86 per cent of TMC’s total vehicles sold so far this year still powered by conventional internal combustion engines.

Of the one million hybrids sold so far this year, 316,600 were regular Prius hatches, 259,700 were smaller Prius C city cars and 159,700 represent the Prius V people-mover. Another 81,800 Camry Hybrids add to the tally alongside 21,600 Prius Plug-In Hybrids and 102,500 Lexus hybrids, with the rest representing the remainder of Toyota’s hybrid family.

The one million figure represents a massive year for TMC hybrid cars. It took Toyota 14 years to sell 3.5 million hybrids but just the last 10 months to sell another one million, which means that (if the sales grow at a consistent rate) TMC will sell its 10 millionth hybrid by around 2016.

TMC hybrid sales in Australia represent less than one per cent of the global hybrid sales tally with Japan accounting for 56.7 percent (with the Prius remaining the best selling car). Toyota and Lexus Australia are expected to sell over 10,000 hybrids this year for the first time on record, which represents a 50 per cent improvement over the same period last year.

“Buyers of passenger cars in Australia are showing a greater move towards hybrids with sales up 50 per cent this year compared with growth of just 4.4 per cent for diesels. In fact, the number of private buyers opting for diesel passenger cars has actually fallen this year while sales of hybrid passenger cars have doubled among private buyers,” Toyota Australia executive director sales and marketing Matthew Callachor said.

Of course, total sales of diesel passenger cars are higher than hybrid cars. Nonetheless, this year’s growth in passenger-car hybrid sales is higher in actual numbers than for diesels. It’s another story in the SUV segment through, as diesel SUV sales remain very strong with more buyers than ever picking a diesel SUV over a petrol or hybrid.

Last week, Lexus Australia’s head of marketing, Peter Evans, told CarAdvice that diesel engines are not a long term solution for meetings ever stringent emission laws.

  • F1MotoGP

    I am not surprised Toyota/Lexus sells more hybrid cars. More people live in big cities and it makes a good choice to buy hybrid. 

    • Guest

      Buying a hybrid does not make a good choice.

      • batman

        Your mum does not make a good choice.

  • Passionate observer

    Another reason not to hate on Toyota as is often the case… They make the investments ans take the risks just to improve the tech… Now watch the others play catch up.. Trouble is, by the time they do The big t will lift the bar yet again..other makers are good for different reasons or specialties but seriously. Toyota is the best car manufacturer in the world.. Anyone that says otherwise doesn’t know S$@T about the game…

    • Golfmother

      Dealer, or just a misguided gospel loving brainwashed toyota fan .

      • Phil

        Dealer, or just a misguided gospel loving brainwashed toyota hater .

        • Edward

          Dealer, or just a misguided gospel loving brainwashed toyota fan hater 😉

          • Golfmother

            Dealer or just a stoned toyota gospel singin brainwashed car advice contributor , or is it contributer , where’s camry lover when you need him .

    • Igor

      Lift the bar yet again ?
      Are you serious.
      The only bar that’s lifting is yours when you see a Toyota.

    • Jacob

      Um, VW is spending €76 on new models and factories over the next 5 years alone. 

      Nobody can match that. 

    • Jacob

      Um, VW is spending €76 billion on new models and factories over the next 5 years alone. 
      Nobody can match that.

  • Daz

    Didnt Honda only recently sell 1 million hybrids after 10 years?

    Having driven Toyota hybrids, i must admit they are very impressive and well executed.


    hybrid is great for hopeless city traffic like Brisbane…

    • Sydlocal

       If you think Brisbane city traffic is hopeless I guess you have never driven in Sydney… 😉

      • Guest

        Or Melbourne

  • Unidexter Hopping

    Well done Toyota. Now please package the Camry Hybrid battery under the car so you have a practical boot and offer a towbar for the Prius V. Do these things and you will sell more Hybrids.

    • Guest2

       As a current model prius owner and with 100,000 on the clock with no issues at all I agree that the hybrid’s is the way to go for now. I would buy the prius V but the lack of towbar is the main obstacle.

      • Latin Fish Names

        My brother-in law’s experience with his 2008 Prius is one of total reliability and low running costs.  You have to hand it to Toyota for knowing how to build reliable and low cost of ownership cars… this is in stark contrast to my 2 VW Golfs.

  • Kiran

    Yeah mining tones of nickel and cadmium for these million vehicles is so much better than a few extra tones of CO2 in the atmosphere. Nope. If people really want to save the environment they will drive petrol and drive in a fuel efficient manner. Diesel is a known carcinogen and can cause latent environmental damage

    • Sumpguard

      So does watching tv, shaving, turning the lights on, the manufacturing process on ALL cars, the illegal disposal of batteries, using your computer, charging your mobile, ipod and laptop, using airconditioning, filtering your pool, catching the train, vacuuming the floor, walking through an automatic door..etc…..etc…..etc…. 

         Don’t tell part of a story. Petrol cars are not the long term answer. 

      • Golfmother

        WIND , thats the answer slumgaurd , cows fart so harness that .

        • Sumpguard

          All we need is a filter in front of your mouth if that’s the case GoofMother. 

  • twincharger

    With congested traffic in Australian citys,slow speeds with lots of braking.Hybrids make perfect sense.Petrol is becoming to expensive,Diesel produces to much Nox,nobody wants LPG.Hybrid,E85 Ethanol,Holden Volt and Lpg have to be medium term goals for Au.

  • Sumpguard

           Hydrogen will rule in the longer term. The only hurdle is efficiency of production and once they master how to produce it at the vehicle it will surpass Plug ins. I was only yesterday that 2 Aussie scientists have made a breakthrough in where to look when mastering the separation process. 

           With 4 billion cars expected to be on our roads by 2050 (up from 1 billion now) even hybrids will have come and gone. We simply don’t have the fossil fuel to support it and the current gen hybrids will be looked back on as a transient stage of vehicle history.

  • R10RRK

    What should I say? Congratulations? from a BMW driver.