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Nikkei: Toyota to offer new hybrid car by 2009

Following success of the Prius, company will introduce hybrid with bigger engine to help boost international sales.
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Written by Reuters on
Toyota Motor plans to put a new low-emission hybrid car on the market by 2009, following the international success of its Prius model, Nikkei Financial Daily said on Sunday.

The company is aiming for international sales of 100,000 units a year for the new model, contributing to a total target of 1 million hybrid cars a year in a few years' time, helped by stricter regulations on carbon dioxide emissions, the paper said.

About 310,000 hybrid cars, which combine electric motors with gasoline engines for better fuel efficiency, were sold around the world in 2006, with the Prius accounting for more than half, the Nikkei said.

Toyota has already begun developing the new model, which will have a 2- to 3-liter engine, compared with the 1.5-liter Prius. It will likely be manufactured at the Miyata plant on Japan's southern island of Kyushu, the Nikkei said.

Toyota, which currently offers seven models with hybrid technology, makes 90 percent of the hybrid vehicles sold in the domestic market, the Nikkei said.

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