TOKYO -- Toyota Motor Corp.'s global cumulative sales of hybrid vehicles have topped the 100,000 level, with sales of 102,967 as of the end of March.
The total includes 89,091 Prius hybrid sedan, which now is sold in more than 20 countries.
After the Prius, launched in December 1997, Toyota's hybrid lineup includes the Estima minivan, Coaster bus, and a Crown sedan with an integrated starter generator, which Toyota classifies as a "mild hybrid."
Toyota has said it plans to sell 300,000 hybrid vehicles worldwide by 2005.
Previously, a senior Toyota official had said that the goal would be met largely through sales of higher-end vehicles with a Prius-like "strong hybrid" system, rather than Toyotas so-called "mild hybrid." So far, Toyota has sold 2,094 "mild hybrid" systems.
Hiroyuki Watanabe, Toyotas senior managing director in charge of product management, environmental affairs, component & system development, and research & development, fuel cell system development, and Toyotas Virtual Venture Company, said Toyotas sales of 300,000 hybrid systems would come in such markets as Japan, the United States, Europe, and Singapore. He said Toyota has not decided whether to sell the systems in Australia. He declined to give a general breakdown of how the 300,000 will be split geographically.
Toyotas "mild hybrid," which turns off the engine at full stops for fuel savings of about 10 percent, is similar to systems that several other carmakers are planning to install. However, Watanabe said that it performs best in stop-and-go city driving, and thus might be better suited for urban markets in Japan and Europe, while "strong" hybrids like the Prius are better suited for high-speed cruising on American highways.