TOKYO – Toyota registered 16% growth in hybrid-vehicle sales last year, delivering a record 1.4 million units.
Sales of all Japanese hybrid car and truck brands totaled nearly 1.64 million units, also a new high. Excluding Nissan, for which only half-year results have been confirmed, sales grew 12%.
Toyota, which in January passed the 10 million mark in hybrid sales since launching the Prius in December 1997, offers 37 hybrids including 28 Toyota and nine Lexus models.
The top-selling hybrid in 2016 was the Prius at 356,560 units, followed by the Prius C and its Japanese derivative, the Aqua (194,390); RAV4 hybrid (98,780); Aurus (93,983); and Yaris (87,223).
The Auris hybrid is produced at Toyota Motor Mfg. (U.K.) and the Yaris hybrid is assembled by Toyota in France.
Honda, ranked second, sold 218,142 hybrids, down 4% from 2015 levels. The 12,993 units built outside Japan represented 7% of the total.
Honda’s top-selling models were the Fit and Vexel at 52,227 and 49,921 units, respectively.
The automaker sells a total of 11 hybrid models including the limited-production NSX supercar built at the Honda’s Marysville, OH, plant.
Mitsubishi is the Japanese leader in plug-in hybrids. In 2016, it sold 29,875 Outlander PHEVs.
Nissan reported sales of 13,675 units in first-half 2016, including 13,200 in Japan. In the U.S. it sold 475 units, all Infiniti models, WardsAuto data shows.
Nissan sells five hybrid models: the X-Trail, Rogue, Skyline, Fuga and Cima along with their Infiniti derivatives, the Q50 and Q70. The Skyline, Fuga and Cima are rear-wheel-drive models.
In the electric-vehicle segment, Nissan again was the Japanese leader on estimated sales of 63,250 units in 2016. The Leaf, introduced in December 2010, accounted for the lion’s share.
Nissan also sells the e-NV200 van and Venucia E30, a rebadged Leaf.
The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance in 2016 sold 94,265 EVs, up 8% from prior year. Renault sold 25,648 EVs in Europe including 21,735 Zoe models. Mitsubishi sold 5,366 units, mostly i-MiEVs.
Among South Korean automakers, Hyundai sold 55,540 hybrids in Japan alone 2016 including 1,004 plug-in types. Included were 27,162 Sonatas and 21,498 Ioniqs.
PHEVs, included in Sonata and Ionic sales, totaled 997 and seven units, respectively.
Kia, the country’s second-leading automaker, sold 52,949 hybrids, nearly triple its 2015 total. Included were 28,442 Niros, 22,183 Optimas and 736 Optima PHEVs, the latter sold exclusively in Europe.
The 6,476 hybrids sold in North America represented 12% of Kia’s total.
The automaker sold 7,613 Soul EVs, nearly 60% of them (4,450 units) in Europe.
In the U.S. market, hybrid sales totaled 373,359 units in 2016, up from 341,792 in 2015, according to WardsAuto data.
The largest share, 65%, was held by Toyota and Lexus on sales of 243,971 units, followed by Ford at 12% (45,525); Hyundai, 5% (17,568); Honda, 3% (12,480); and Chevrolet, 1% (4,370).
PHEV sales, counted in a separate category, totaled 71,329 units, up 63% from 43,815 in 2015.
Led by the Chevrolet Volt extended-range EV, General Motors recorded the most sales (25,273 units), followed by Ford (23,895), BMW (8,537), Audi (4,280), and Porsche (2,505).
In the all-electric segment, the top-selling brand in the U.S. was Tesla on sales of 41,651 units, followed by Nissan (14,006); BMW (7,625); and Fiat (5,095). Total EV sales grew to 79,915 units from 72,374 in 2015.