Toyota Races Ahead with Hybrid-electric Production

Plans to sell 300,000 vehicles by 2005. Automakers accelerate efforts to develop the most efficient, cleanest engine.

Published: 08-Jan-2003

Toyota Motor Corp. plans to substantially increase its production of hybrid electric-gasoline cars in two years, starting with cleaner-engine versions of a luxury sport-utility vehicle that goes into standard production this fall in Ontario.

Toyota said yesterday it plans to assemble and sell 300,000 hybrid vehicles around the world annually by 2005 - three times the number of vehicles using the technology that it has sold since it first offered the hybrid Prius sedan in 1997.

While the technology being improved in Japan will eventually be available in a number of different Toyota models, the company announced versions of the Lexus RX 330 sport-utility vehicle - which will go into production in Cambridge, Ont., in September and also at a Japanese factory - will be available with the hybrid engines in two years.



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