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(TORONTO) - Toyota Canada Inc. (TCI) today announced that sales of Toyota and Lexus gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles continue to increase as Canadian drivers embrace this next generation, clean, powerful and efficient technology.

"We're very pleased with how our hybrid vehicles have contributed to the strength of our Toyota and Lexus brands in Canada," said Stephen Beatty, Managing Director of TCI, "and we look forward to introducing additional hybrid options for Canadian drivers in the coming years."

The Toyota hybrid lineup includes the mid-size Prius, the all-new 2007 Toyota Camry Hybrid, and the Toyota Highlander Hybrid intermediate SUV. Lexus hybrid offerings include the GS 450h luxury hybrid sedan and the RX 400h luxury hybrid SUV. Sales highlights for these vehicles include:

* June 2006 marked the 5,000th unit sale of the second-generation Prius, bringing the cumulative total of this popular mass-produced hybrid to 6,146 in Canada. Toyota sold 155 Prius during the month, bringing year to date sales to 1,136. That's up 30.4 per cent compared to the first six months of 2005. Prius continues to be the best selling hybrid vehicle in Canada and the world.
* Toyota sold 273 Camry Hybrids in June 2006. The Camry Hybrid accounted for roughly 10 per cent of all Camry sales, in just its second month of availability.
* Toyota sold 63 Highlander Hybrids in June, compared to 150 of the conventionally-powered Toyota Highlander models. More than one in four Highlander buyers chose the hybrid version. For the first half of 2006, a total of 343 Highlander Hybrids were sold.
* Lexus sold 25 GS 450h intermediate luxury hybrid sedans in June 2006. That compares very favourably to 44 GS 300/GS 430 conventionally-powered models sold during the month, accounting for over 36 per cent of all GS sales.
* Lexus sold 77 RX 400h luxury hybrid SUVs in June 2006, compared to 302 of the RX 350 conventionally-powered models. Over 20 per cent of RX buyers chose the hybrid version. Lexus sold a total of 396 RX 400h units from January to June 2006

Toyota has offered Canadians a hybrid alternative since 2000, and in the past six years the company has broadened the lineup. Toyota now offers Canadians a complete range of clean, efficient, powerful hybrid alternatives to the conventional gasoline-driven vehicle. Toyota and Lexus now offer a choice of car and truck hybrid models to suit every budget and taste, with hybrid models covering all drive train configurations - including front, rear, and all wheel drive.

"Hybrids are not a novelty: they are the platform upon which we will introduce new, exciting Toyota and Lexus vehicles," Mr. Beatty continued. "Lexus has already announced the LS 600hL - a hybrid, all-wheel drive, long-wheelbase version of the upcoming, redesigned LS series prestige luxury sedan, which will arrive in Canadian showrooms next year - and we have demonstrated the hybrid system's versatility and power capabilities in the FTX concept full-size pick-up truck."

In each case, Toyota tunes the hybrid system to optimize the performance and efficiency of the vehicle in which it's installed. Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive strikes a perfect balance of clean, efficient, and powerful engine response, while the Lexus Hybrid Drive maximizes the performance of the vehicle, even as it provides the benefits of clean and efficient power.

"Toyota has already sold more than 500,000 hybrid vehicles around the world, and continues to develop new versions of its hybrid power system to use in forthcoming vehicles," Mr. Beatty concluded. "With the positive response from the market in Canada and elsewhere, I'm confident Toyota will achieve its goal of selling one million hybrid vehicles world-wide early in the next decade."

Source: - Toyota Canada
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