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Toyota and Lexus report five million hybrid sales since 1997

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The Toyota Motor Corporation has announced that since 1997, sales of its hybrid vehicles have exceeded five million - contributing to an estimated 34 million fewer tonnes of carbon dioxide entering the atmosphere, and to 1.2 billion litres of petrol being saved.

Since the Prius was first made available on the UK market in 2000, hybrid Toyota and Lexus cars have reached sales of nearly 100,000. The Toyota Motor Corporation currently sells nine hybrid vehicles in the UK, a number set to increase later this year with the launch of the Lexus IS 300h and GS 300h.

The Toyota Prius was the world's first mass-produced hybrid vehicle and went on sale in Japan in 1997. Since then, it has become one of the world's best-selling cars. Describing the launch, Toyota Motor Corporation vice chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada said: "We developed the first-generation Prius with the aim of making it a car for the 21st century and as an indication of Toyota’s response to environmental issues."

Hybrid vehicles now account for 21 per cent of Toyota sales. In Europe, the number of hybrids sold currently increases by approximately 82 per cent per year.ADNFCR-2576-ID-801573259-ADNFCR

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