Cars

Toyota Plans 10 New Hybrids

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

In an effort to boost sales, Toyota said it is planning to add at least 10 new hybrid models for sale in Europe.

Toyota sold 800,000 vehicles -- hybrid and traditional gas -- in Europe in 2010. But that is not enough.

"Between 2013 to 2014, we must return to one million sales," Didier Leroy, president of Toyota's European operations, told reporters on Monday on the eve of the Geneva auto show.

About 20% of those sales will likely be a hybrid car, he said, compared with 9 percent last year.

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Toyota's European sales peaked at 1.2 million vehicles in 2007, before the financial crisis hit.

Leroy is counting on new hybrids from Toyota and Lexus to drive sales in Europe. Hybrids are slowly gaining traction there after a slow start, as compared to Japan and the United States.

The percentage of consumers in Europe saying they would consider a hybrid for their next car purchase grew to 16 percent from 8-9 percent in 2009, Leroy said.

A new hybrid version of the Yaris subcompact model will be rolled out next year. A concept of the car will be unveiled at the Geneva auto show on Tuesday.

A gas version of that car is available in the U.S. There's no word on whether the hybrid will be offered here.

To read more, go to FutureCars.com