Toyota: A Hybrid Model for Every Vehicle Series

Toyota: A Hybrid Model for Every Vehicle Series

Days after designating a Mississippi manufacturing facility a model of sustainable practices, Toyota President Katsuaki Watanabe said the company plans to offer a hybrid model in every vehicle series.

Watanabe touted efforts the automaker has made in pursuing sustainable mobility through its hybrid technology. Since the company launched its wildly successful Prius in 1997, Toyota has sold 1.25 million models through last November.

Now Toyota, which recently became the No. 2 U.S. automaker after General Motors, has set a goal of selling 1 million hybrids a year beginning in the early 2010s. It estimates its hybrids have helped avoid 5 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

Watanabe said Toyota also is developing cellulosic ethanol in addition to lithium-ion batteries.

The speech comes amidst an era that Watanabe characterized as a turning point on several levels, from expanding markets to energy-related issues.

"The business environment has undergone major changes in the past few years," Watanabe said. "The biggest of these changes has been the increasing demand for corporate social responsibility as the result of global warming, resource depletion and other environmental issues."