Toyota is looking to finish development of a hybrid version of its Tundra full-size pickup next year, with plans to bring it to market shortly thereafter. The project is in cooperation with Ford, and is the plan would likely see the American automaker roll out a hybrid F-150 shortly thereafter.
Next year will also see the launch of the Prius plug-in hybrid and Prius c sub-compact as the Japanese automaker says it could double its hybrid sales in North America to 400,000 by 2015. Globally Toyota hopes to bring hybrid sales to 1.2 million that year, up from 690,000 last year. To reach that goal, the Japanese auto giant will look to continue to expand its offerings, with more hybrid versions of conventional models.
According to R&D boss Takeshi Uchiyamada, hybrids are a growth strategy for Toyota. He admits that the company has lagged behind in new transmissions and hybrid technology, with Toyota betting instead on a longer-term payoff of hybrids as a mainstream alternative.
To continue this growth strategy Toyota is being forced to deal with the rising yen and will, as a result, begin moving production of hybrid vehicles and their components out of Japan. Currently only the Camry Hybrid is built in North America, although the hybrid components continue to be manufactured in Japan.
[Source: Automotive News]