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Toyota’s confidence in the future of the hybrid market has just become more pronounced with the launch of the Corolla Hatch Hybrid.
The Corolla Hatch Hybrid will expand Toyota’s hybrid reach into the new car market with the country’s largest selling passenger car and is another step towards standardising hybrid technology across the Toyota model range.
Based on the Corolla GLX petrol engined model, the Corolla Hatch Hybrid gives Toyota a greater spread of hybrid models and places a hybrid model in the small medium car fleet market for the first time.
“Globally, Toyota is planning to introduce more hybrid models worldwide to meet its own goal of reducing its carbon footprint by 90 percent by 2050,” said Spencer Morris, Toyota New Zealand’s General Manager of Product.
“The Corolla Hatch Hybrid is the start of that normalisation of hybrid technology into popular models. With the introduction of the Corolla Hatch Hybrid, Toyota is mainstreaming hybrid’s fuel saving technology further across its model range.”
Prius, Toyota’s flagship hybrid model offering the first sustainable alternative to petrol engined vehicles, has seen a steady increase in sales since its New Zealand introduction in 2003.
Toyota New Zealand has sold more than 6,500 hybrids to the end of March this year, with an additional 5,000 Prius used imports adding to the total on the road as well.
Combining Toyota New Zealand’s total sale of new hybrid models with luxury brand Lexus, there has been a five percent overall reduction in the carbon footprint of its model range over the last six years.
The Camry Hybrid was introduced in New Zealand in 2010, proving to be popular with both private and corporate customers for its passenger comfort and low fuel costs, particularly taxi operators and company fleets who have sales reps on the road covering large distances.
In 2012 the Prius offering was strengthened by the smaller Prius c, an ideal city runabout, and the Prius V, a versatile seven seater.
“We expect to introduce more hybrid models as production priorities allow,” said Mr Morris.
As a longstanding top seller, the expansion of hybrid technology to the Corolla Hatch is a natural progression to encourage a widespread of hybrid technology.
The Corolla Hybrid is expected to provide fleet customers with another viable alternative to the Camry and become Toyota’s largest selling single hybrid model with up to 800 cars a year.
With the various Prius models, Toyota will now offer 11 different hybrid variants from its five main hybrid models – Prius (three alternatives), Prius c (three), Prius V (one),Camry (three models), and Corolla (one).
The Prius c was Toyota’s top selling hybrid model in New Zealand in 2013 and 2014 and has racked up more than 1,600 sales since its launch.
The Camry has been the leading hybrid seller from 2010 to 2012 and in 2015 with around 2,500 on the road.
Worldwide, Toyota and Lexus have now sold more than nine million hybrid vehicles to the end of April, including 3,732,700 Prius, 1,249,100 Prius c and 574,400 Camry.