Prius chief: Toyota eyes 1 million hybrid sales in N.A. in this decade
TOKYO -- Toyota, which expects to sell 1 million hybrid vehicles worldwide this year, could sell that many in North America alone as early as 2018, the company's top Prius engineer predicted.
The United States accounted for nearly 30 percent of the 628,900 hybrids sold globally by Toyota last year.
But Satoshi Ogiso, who oversees the Prius family of vehicles, sees North American sales surging past the 1 million mark soon.
"2018, 2019, 2020. Not so far away," he said.
The United States is Toyota's second-biggest market for hybrids after Japan. The company sold 178,588 Toyota and Lexus hybrids in the United States in 2011.
The Prius family accounts for most of those sales. Last year, Toyota sold 136,463 Priuses in the United States.
U.S. sales of Prius-badged cars, including the small-sized Prius C, the Prius V wagon and the Prius Plug-in, nearly doubled to 164,408 units in the first eight months of this year compared with the same period last year.