With new vehicles, Toyota aims to experience the pre-Lehman sales levels

Thursday 01 December 2011, 12:46 PM by Vikas Yogi

Toyota Motor Corp. has decided to ride on the shoulders of plug-in Prius hybrid and various upcoming models, in order to regain the unprecedented highs it achieved prior to the global recession during 2008. This was confirmed by Takeshi Uchiyamada, Executive Vice President, Toyota Motors Corp.

Uchiyamada stated the company's plans during an interview in Tokyo, without mentioning the specific sales target it aims to attain. “After the Lehman crisis in 2008, annual sales volume fell by about 2 million units. We have not been able to re

With new vehicles, Toyota aims to experience the pre-Lehman sales levels  | CarTrade.com
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gain that yet, so we are hoping that our new cars will help us achieve that.”

The Japan-based auto maker is geared up to bring out the Prius PHV hybrid car in the country on 30th January, carrying a minimum price tag of 3.2 million yen or $41,000. The car maker has set a goal of selling 35,000 to 40,000 units of the plug-in Prius every year in Japan.

Toyota, which is certain of giving away its coveted global position to General Motors Co., is cashing on gasoline-electric vehicles to contribute towards sales recuperation next year. The auto maker withdrew its claim of full-year profit, following the highly destructive floods that hit Thailand and irrefutably claimed to be the most lethal calamities since 70 years.

The catastrophe disrupted the production process and proved to be a double whammy, as the Japanese car makers were already struggling to recover from the record earthquake in March.

Takeshi Miyao, a Tokyo-based analyst at industry researcher Carnorama, said, “With the plug-in, Toyota will be able to compete with electric cars too.”

The new Prius PHV delivers an excellent fuel economy of 61 kmpl and an efficient range of 26.4 km on its lithium-ion battery that can be charged through an electricity outlet at homes.

Shinichi Sasaki, Executive Vice-President at Toyota, stated during a press briefing that “We hope to attract customers who were still hesitant to buy an all-electric car.”

Toyota and Ford Motor Co. came out with a plan in the month of August, to join hands for the purpose of giving rise to a hybrid system for pickup trucks and sport-utility vehicles. The two car makers were on the same page due the increase in the level of stringency of U.S. fuel-economy rules.

Ford plans to run a quarter of its vehicles partially on electricity, and therefore it is currently offering hybrid versions of the Escape SUV, along with Fusion and Lincoln MKZ sedans. The Dearborn, Michigan-based car manufacturer sells-off about 35,000 hybrids each year, compared with the sales of Prius that is 1,40,928 units in 2010.

Toyota is also collaborating with electric-car maker Tesla Motors Inc., in order to produce a battery-powered model of the Toyota RAV4 sports utility vehicle, which will hit the roads in 2012. Toyota has claimed that it would possibly offer hybrid versions of each and every vehicle that it produces, in the coming time.

“We’re introducing many new cars, and we plan to make as many of them as possible. Our Prius has a track record of 3.4 million units in total sales, and we firmly believe the plug-in version will beat competitors,” Uchiyamada added.

Thus, Toyota is thriving to emerge as an integral part of the electric-car segment that is made up of a technology, which is capable of holding the future of the automobile industry in its strong hands.

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