Gas Prices, Hybrid Sales SoarPosted 6/10/2005
By Denise Caspersen
As the price of gas continues to rise, the market is ripe for the growth of hybrid sales.
Within the first three months of 2005, Toyota sold 22,880 Prius hybrid models and is projecting it will sell 100,000 by the end of the year. That's twice the number of Prius cars sold in 2004.
And Toyota has set realistic goals for hybrid vehicle sales. According to Toyota, the leading hybrid vehicle manufacturer, worldwide sales for 2006 are estimated at 300,000 with projected worldwide growth reaching close to 2 million by 2010. This includes the addition of the Lexus RX 400h and the Toyota Highlander.
Toyota has plans to add - by 2010 - a hybrid version for all the vehicle lines it offers. Expect a Camry hybrid in 2007, along with Lexus ES, LS. The Toyota Avalon, Sienna, Tundra and Sequoia hybrids are due to come out in 2008-2010.
Honda introduced the Insight in 2001 and sold only 4,726 in the United States. In 2004 Honda added a Civic hybrid to its line and experienced more success, selling 25,571. Honda's goal for 2005 includes maintaining Civic hybrid sales and adding 25,000 Honda Accord hybrid vehicles to the roadways.
In 2004, Ford introduced the hybrid Ford Escape to some fair response and is projecting sales near 20,000 in 2005.
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