Toyota, perhaps tired of Ford saying it is slowly gaining marketshare on its hybrids, announced the other day how well its green vehicle offerings are doing in the nation’s largest market for such cars. It serves as a reminder to the American automaker and others that they still have a lot of catching up to do.
The company’s hybrids, it said, make up approximately six out of 10 such vehicles sold in California. According to data from R.L. Polk capturing registration year-to-date through May, Californians as well bought five times more Toyota hybrids than its nearest competitor, Ford. General Motor’s Chevrolet brand came in third with six percent.
And, in a direct message to Ford, Toyota noted specifically that through May, according to registration data, Californians bought more Toyota hybrids than Ford sold passenger cars within its entire line-up.
The Japanese automaker has a long history in the hybrid space, which gives it reason to claim its position as the global leader. It introduced the first generation Prius in 2000, expanding the number of Prius offerings to four last year. This car in particular is the workhorse of the hybrids Toyota has, not only being the number one selling car in California last year, but selling in total over the last decade in the United States nearly 1.5 million vehicles. It is said more than 90 percent are still on the road today.
Since introducing the Prius to the U.S. market, Toyota said, it has produced a total of six other hybrid models for the region, including Camry, Highlander and Avalon. It also offers customers a Prius Plug-In hybrid in 15 states, and features six hybrids in its Lexus line-up, Toyota’s luxury division. Worldwide, Toyota has 18 hybrid vehicles spanning more than 30 markets.
In terms of impacts on the environment, the sale of 5.3 million hybrids globally, and over 2 million in the U.S., “have resulted in approximately 34 million fewer tons of CO2 emissions than those emitted by gasoline-powered vehicles, and have saved their owners more than 3 billion gallons of gasoline.”