Toyota To Double Output of Hybrids

Besides offering 14 hybrid models after 2010, the carmaker will also completely revamp its gasoline engine line-up by 2010 and introduce ethanol-fueled vehicles in Brazil by 2007

Published: 14-Jun-2006

google_ad_region_start=article_body -->Toyota Motor said Tuesday that it would double the number of hybrid models it offers to 14 by the early years of the next decade as part of its effort to meet higher demand for fuel-efficient vehicles.

 
The carmaker will also completely revamp its gasoline engine line-up by 2010 and introduce ethanol-fueled vehicles in Brazil by 2007, it said in a statement.
 
Toyota's president, Katsuaki Watanabe, plans to eventually offer all the company's vehicles with hybrid gasoline-electric motors, as record fuel prices curb demand for conventional vehicles. General Motors and Ford Motor have suffered as consumers opt for hybrids and small cars over sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks.
 
"Toyota is the most advanced company in developing hybrid cars," said Koichi Ogawa, a fund manager at Daiwa SB Investments in Tokyo. The technology is "a way for Toyota to differentiate itself from other companies, even though it won't be reflected in earnings right away," he said.
 
The company is spending a record ¥920 billion, or $8 billion, on research and development this business year as the company develops hybrids as well as fuel-cell vehicles. The company plans to sell a million hybrids as early as 2010.
 
With the introduction of the Prius in 1997, Toyota was the first automaker to release a hybrid. Japan's biggest carmaker is aiming to make as many as 400,000 gasoline-electric vehicles in 2006, 60 percent more than 2005's target. The company's hybrid models include Prius cars, Camry sedans, Highlander sport utility vehicles and Coaster buses.
 
The hybrid models and newly developed engines will "reduce emissions of carbon dioxide," the company said in a statement.
 
The carmaker will also bring out a new 1.8-liter engine for compact and midsized cars. The automaker expects its global vehicle sales to rise 9 percent to 8.85 million units in 2006.
 
Gasoline prices in the United States have risen an average 36 percent to $2.90 over the past 12 months, according to the Web site of the American Automibile Association.
 
The company has developed technology to allow all of its gasoline engines run with a fuel mixture including 10 percent ethanol. Toyota may introduce vehicles which run on a fuel mixture to the United States, it said.
 
Isuzu in venture with GM
 
Isuzu Motors, Japan's biggest maker of light trucks, said it would form a venture with General Motors, the world's largest carmaker, to develop pickup trucks, engines and chassis.
 
LCV Platform Engineering will have a capitalization of ¥100 million and will be located in Fujisawa City in Kanagawa Prefecture, Isuzu said Tuesday. GM will be in charge of developing derivative models based on a new engine-and- chassis platform, Isuzu

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