Toyota chairman calls for more hybrids in US
WASHINGTON (AFP) - Toyota chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada challenged automakers on Monday to step up sales of hybrids in the United States, calling them "a long bridge" into future vehicles.
"Today I wish to call on the industry to sell five million hybrids in the US by the end of 2016," Uchiyamada, who pioneered the Prius, said in remarks before the Economic Club of Washington, DC.
Uchiyamada forecast that hybrid vehicles would play a larger role than understood at the moment in the development of automotive propulsion systems.
"It's only when we put ourselves under the same kind of intense pressure we faced in developing the Prius that we can achieve great goals. That's what it takes. I want our industry to achieve this goal." Mr Uchiyamada was chief engineer of the Toyota team that developed the Prius, the world's first mass-produced gasoline-electric hybrid car, launched in 1997.