Toyota Motor Corp. (7203), the maker of the best-selling gasoline-electric car, forecast it will double deliveries of hybrid vehicles this year, driven by government incentives and a recovery from last year’s earthquake.
The maker of the Prius aims to sell 1.2 million hybrid vehicles this year, versus 620,000 units in 2011, the Toyota City, Japan-based automaker said in a statement today. Toyota is targeting annual deliveries of more than 1 million units through 2015, spurred by the introduction of 21 new dual-powered models, it said.
Toyota, which outsold Detroit-based General Motors Co. (GM:US) and Wolfsburg, Germany-based Volkswagen AG (VOW) in the first six months this year, is banking on demand for more fuel-efficient cars to help it regain its global sales crown this year. The global hybrid-vehicle market should exceed 1 million units this year, the company said.
“Sales of hybrids are growing globally, including in emerging markets,” Takeshi Uchiyamada said at a briefing in Tokyo today. “The proportion of hybrid cars should also gradually increase at other companies.”
Toyota fell 1.6 percent to close at 3,150 yen in Tokyo, while the benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average slid 0.5 percent.
The automaker will offer its new eQ compact electric vehicle to local governments and select users in Japan and the U.S., it said. The company is considering limiting initial sales to about 100 units after projecting thousands for the electric car market two years ago, Uchiyamada said.
The eQ electric car has a range of 100 kilometers on a single charge, has a top speed of 125 kilometers per hour and will on sale from 3.6 million yen ($46,000), according to the statement.
Toyota also said today it plans to introduce in 2016 a new hydrogen fuel-cell powered bus developed jointly with Hino Motors Ltd. (7205) The automaker will also test wireless battery charging technology next year.
-- Editors: Chua Kong Ho, Young-Sam Cho
To contact the reporters on this story: Anna Mukai in Tokyo at firstname.lastname@example.org; Yuki Hagiwara in Tokyo at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Young-Sam Cho at firstname.lastname@example.org