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  • Writer's pictureBy The Financial District

Toyota To Beat Rivals As More Consumers Opt For Hybrids

A growing number of consumers are opting for hybrid vehicles, placing long-time hybrid maker Toyota Motor in pole position to outperform rivals who have rapidly transitioned toward full electrification and now grapple with weakening electric vehicle (EV) demand, as reported by Daniel Leussink and Abhirup Roy for Reuters.

Hybrids accounted for around one-third of Toyota's total sales of more than 10 million vehicles last year. I Photo: Toyota of Smithfield

High interest rates and an uncertain economic outlook have also prompted many EV makers to cut their production targets and warn of slowing sales growth in recent weeks.

Toyota, however, is expected to offer a more upbeat outlook when it reports its earnings, helped by its heavy reliance on hybrids, which accounted for around one-third of its total sales of more than 10 million vehicles last year.

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"Pretty much every model we sell now is either exclusively hybrid or has a hybrid variant," said Greg Davis, general manager of Walser Toyota, a dealership in Minnesota.

He said his outlet is aiming to sell 40%-50% hybrid vehicles of total sales, as Toyota moves to make its best-selling sedan in the US market, the Camry, available only in a hybrid version.

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Toyota has already announced that the next generation of the Camry will come only as a hybrid, its boldest move yet to promote the technology pioneered with the Prius, introduced more than a quarter-century ago.

Toyota sold just 104,000 battery EVs last year, less than 1% of its total sales, including its luxury Lexus brand. It plans to boost shipments to 1.5 million EVs by 2026, below Tesla's 2023 shipments of 1.8 million vehicles.

Market & economy: Market economist in suit and tie reading reports and analysing charts in the office located in the financial district.

Toyota takes a "multi-pathway" approach to satisfying customer needs in every market, and Chairman Akio Toyoda said last month that battery EVs would reach a market share of 30% at most, with hybrids, hydrogen fuel-cell cars, and fuel-burning vehicles making up the rest.

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