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(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)

New Year Special Features '99

  • Toyota, Mitsubishi Plan to Market Hybrid Car Model
  • January 11, 1999 (TOKYO) — Toyota Motor Corp. President Hiroshi Okuda revealed that Toyota plans to market a new hybrid car.
    At a Jan. 5 ceremonial meeting of Japan auto-related associations for New Year’s greetings, Okuda that the company will put on the market two types of hybrid cars, a large one and a small one. He said the launch date is not yet decided.

    Toyota claims its “Prius” is the first mass-produced hybrid car for general users in the world.

    Toyota’s hybrid system consists of an electric motor with a second battery and gasoline engine. It can reduce the emission of carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide sharply and improve fuel-efficiency drastically.

    Since Prius’ launch in Japan in October 1998, sales have been brisk. According to Toyota, the annual registered numbers of the cars in 1998 were 17,653 units.

    At the same meeting, the president of Mitsubishi Motors Corp., Katuhiko Kawasoe, also said that Mitsubishi plans to launch a hybrid car within 1999. The details of the car are unknown.

    Mitsubishi will reportedly carry a gasoline engine and second battery in the new hybrid model.

    (Nikkei Electronics & AsiaBizTech Tokyo)

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