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Toyota Chairman Urges Automakers to Bolster Hybrid Sales in US

Monday, 30 Sep 2013 09:24 AM

Toyota Motor Corp. Chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada, who headed the development of the Prius, said automakers should step up their efforts on hybrids so cumulative U.S. sales will reach 5 million in three years.

“It’s only when we put ourselves under the same kind of intense pressure we faced in developing the Prius that we can achieve great goals,” Uchiyamada said at the Economic Club of Washington D.C. today. “I wish to call on the industry to sell 5 million hybrids in the U.S. by the end of 2016.”

That’s 72 percent more than the 2.9 million hybrid vehicles sold in the U.S. until August, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimates. The Toyota City, Japan-based carmaker is the world’s largest producer of gasoline-electric hybrids, with the company estimating to have sold more than 3 million Prius vehicles since they first went on sale in 1997.

“Some people say hybrid vehicles such as the Prius are only a bridge to the future,” Uchiyamada said. “But we think it could be a long bridge and a very sturdy one.”

Longer term, the company is betting on hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and the company plans to offer a fuel-cell sedan in about 2015.

“Perhaps 15 years from now, we can meet again here in Washington and we will know exactly which system has prevailed,” said Uchiyamada, who’s known within Toyota as the “father of the Prius.” “By that time, if I am still around, I may be the great-grandfather.”

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Toyota Motor Corp. Chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada, who headed the development of the Prius, said automakers should step up their efforts on hybrids so cumulative U.S. sales will reach 5 million in three years.
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2013-24-30
Monday, 30 Sep 2013 09:24 AM
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