The Toyota Prius is the world’s largest-selling gas-electric hybrid, but the Japanese manufacturer will increase its production to one million units in 2011 to keep its position as the industry leader among low-emission cars.
Toyota hopes to sell one million models annually worldwide early into this year. The manufacturer’s second hybrid, the Sai sedan, was recently introduced in Japan. The Prius became Japan’s best-selling car in 2009.
“For the foreseeable future, the focus of Toyota’s (low-emission car) strategy will be on hybrids, not electric or fuel-cell cars,” said Yoshihiko Tabei, chief analyst at Kazaka Securities. “Except for Honda, Toyota is facing little competition in hybrids and is set to put distance between itself and other automakers.”
The Honda Insight in the primary rival to the Prius, but its sales greatly trail Prius sales.
According to a report in Japanese business newspapers, Toyota will add about 10 hybrid models to its existing lineup in the next few years.
In addition to its vast popularity in the Japan, Prius production sites have expanded to China, Thailand, Australia and the United States.