Toyota Sold 8 Million Hybrids Since 1997, Prius is The King of Sales for the Brand

1997 Toyota Prius 1 photo
Photo: Toyota
It should come as no surprise that the Prius is Toyota's best-sold PHEV, but we had to mention it because the Japanese carmaker just reached the incredible milestone of 8 million (8,048,400, to be more precise) hybrids sold since 1997.
Eight million hybrids sold in 18 years is eco-history in the making, but things were not as easy as they seem now. For example, Toyota Chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada likes to tell the story of how his team couldn't get the first Prius prototype to move for 49 days:

"We had no idea what was wrong, so we worked late every night trying to figure it out. We finally got it to move around Christmas time, but it only went 500 meters!"

You see, even big achievements started slow or in this case, with a small failure. But Toyota pressed on and in November 1995 the first Prius Prototype was built, while two years later, in March 1997, the Japanese brand unveiled their Toyota Hybrid System.

Sure, the Prius might be Toyota's MVP on the hybrid market, but just like any other team, there are other players to take into account.

Since the launch of the Prius in 1997, Toyota has been gradually adding hybrid models throughout its range, from the compact Yaris Hybrid to the recently announced RAV4 Hybrid. For you to get an idea of the bigger picture, consider this: as of this month, Toyota sells 30 hybrid passenger car models and one plug-in hybrid model in more than 90 markets.

What the future holds

Looking at Toyota's plans for the future, we can forecast a busy timeframe for the hybrid efforts of the Japanese brand. The Mirai is almost ready to reach customers while the launch of the new-generation Prius is less than two weeks away.

However, it's a make it or break it situation for Toyota, as other players like Chevrolet and Nissan are gearing up to explore the green market. Can the new Prius tip the scales in their favor? We'll have to sit back, wait and see.

Detailed info on sales is available in the press release below.
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Press Release

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