by Nate Wooley | April 17, 2013 9:15 am
Toyota (NYSE:TM) has passed the 5 million mark in sales of its gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles, with the lion’s share of that coming from its Prius.
Annual sales topped seven digits for the first time in 2012, when the company sold 1.2 million, Reuters reports.
Sales are strongest in Japan, where government incentives increase demand. In Japan, 17% of vehicles sold are hybrids, and Toyota sells three-quarters of those. The number is lower in the United States and China; in both countries, 2%-3% of total vehicles sold are hybrids.
However, the hybrid cars are having more trouble getting traction in Europe and emerging markets. In Europe, the prevalence of diesel-fueled cars is a barrier to a gasoline-electric engine; and in emerging markets, the higher price still deters many customers.
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