Toyota is aiming to become the biggest hybrid brand in Europe, with sales of petrol-electric models now accounting for 30% of its sales in western Europe.
Speaking to Autocar, Karl Schlicht, executive vice president of Toyota Europe, said Toyota’s western European sales climbed by around 10% last year, rising to 874,000 units.
Sales in Russia and other smaller markets in the same region dropped by 35% as a result of economic sanctions and the collapse in oil prices. Even so, Schlicht said that Toyota’s 120,000 sales in Russia were “still profitable”.
Schlicht was bullish about models such as the Yaris, sales of which reached a record high even in the fifth year of the model’s life. Toyota is also hoping that the Volkswagen Golf-rivalling Auris will finally break a 3% market share as it becomes the fourth best-selling model in Europe’s C-sector private buyer market.
Last year, Toyota sold around 270,000 hybrids. Schlicht revealed that 60% of Auris sales in Europe are petrol-electric hybrids, as are 40% of Yaris sales.