Toyota hopes to sell 36,000 of its new Sai hybrid sedan, Toyota’s goal being one million hybrid cars a year globally after 2010.
The Sai is Toyota’s second hybrid-only car, this car is a redesign of the Lexus HS250 hybrid.
Toyota is also sending its brand to South Korea where the Hyundai Kia partnership dominate. The Prius and Camry hybrids will be first and joining them will be the petrol version of the Camry and the RAV4.
Hyundai is taking worldwide sales away from Toyota and other major manufacturers by offering customers cheap, reliable and fuel efficient cars.
Hyundai revealed its first hybrid car in July to the South Korean market. The car uses a liquefied petroleum gas engine (LPG) instead of a regular petrol engine. By the end of 2010 a Sonata based petrol electric hybrid will also be released.
Toyota is the worlds largest car manufacturer and is leading the competition with its hybrid technology. It expects to sell 500,000 to 600,000 hybrid cars this year, due to a battery supply problem they won’t exceed this figure.
Toyota Executive Vice President Yukitoshi Funo told a news conference, "The introduction of the Toyota brand into South Korea is aimed to meet the diversifying needs of consumers in this growing market,"
"We intend to make every effort to contribute to South Korean society and earn a loyal following."
December the seventh is the release date for the Toyota Sai retailing at 3.38 million yen ($40,250), the Lexus HS250 is priced at 3.96 million yen ($47,159).
The Sai is expected to have a consumption rate of 4.34 liters per 100 km. At this stage Toyota has no plans to export the Sai, preferring to concentrate on the home market.