Toyota, Honda Plan to Double U.S. Hybrid Car Sales, Widen Lead

Toyota and Honda sold 81,206 hybrids in 2004 and look to sell 200,000 in 2005.

Published: 11-Jan-2005

Jan. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. plan to more than double U.S. sales of hybrid cars this year, extending their lead over General Motors Corp. and DaimlerChrysler AG in gasoline-electric vehicles.

Toyota, the world's second-largest automaker, and Honda, Japan's third biggest, combined may sell as many as 200,000 hybrids this year, the companies said at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The companies sold 81,206 Toyota Prius, Honda Insight, Civic and Accord hybrids last year.

Toyota and Honda are betting that gasoline prices, which rose 19 percent last year, will spur sales of cars that get as much as 55 miles on a gallon. Tighter pollution rules in the U.S., Europe and Japan have pushed automakers to offer vehicles with lower tailpipe emissions.

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