Toyota has now sold 10 million hybrids in 20 years, globally


2017 Toyota Prius

2017 Toyota Prius

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Toyota has reached yet another significant milestone in global hybrid sales.

The Japanese automaking giant has surpassed 10 million hybrid sales globally since the launch of the first-generation Prius in 1997.

That total includes hybrids sold under Toyota's Lexus luxury brand, as well as sales of two plug-in hybrid models.

CHECK OUT: Toyota at 9 million hybrids, now makes more than 1 million a year (May 2016)

The latter represent only a tiny fraction of the vast numbers of conventional hybrids the automaker has sold over the past 20 years.

Toyota surpassed 10 million global hybrid sales just nine months after reaching 9 million sales.

That makes the third time in a row that Toyota has increased its global hybrid-production total by 1 million units in less than a year.

2016 Toyota Prius C

2016 Toyota Prius C

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It all began with the first-generation Prius, which was sold only in Japan from 1997 to 2000.

An upgraded "generation 1.5" model was launched in the U.S. in 2001.

But Prius sales didn't really take off until the 2004 introduction of the second-generation model, which was larger and generally better suited to a wider array of consumers.

ALSO SEE: Plug-in hybrids to catch on more quickly than electrics: Toyota

Since then, Toyota has added dozens more hybrid models, to the point where it now claims to have 34 distinct hybrid models available globally.

In the U.S., that includes four Prius-badged models.

The original Prius Liftback and the recent Prius Prime plug-in hybrid share the current-generation Toyota New Global Architecture platform.

2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, Catskill Mountains, NY, Feb 2016

2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, Catskill Mountains, NY, Feb 2016

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The Prius C subcompact and Prius V tall wagon are older designs based on other platforms that date back to the 2012 model year.

Toyota also offers hybrid versions of the Camry and Avalon sedans, and the RAV4 and Highlander crossovers in the U.S.

ALSO SEE: Why aren't there more hybrid crossover utilities and SUVs?

It's so far the sole automaker to make, and follow through on, a consistent commitment to selling hybrid versions of all its mainstream models—including popular crossover utility vehicles.

Lexus sells the CT 200h hatchback, meanwhile, as well as hybrid versions of the ES and GS sedans, and its RX and NX crossovers.

2017 Lexus ES

2017 Lexus ES

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The luxury brand will also launch two low-volume hybrid models in the coming months.

After a brief absence, the LS hybrid full-size sedan will return in the form of a new LS 500h model debuting next month at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show.

MORE: 2018 Lexus LS 500h hybrid luxury sedan to debut at Geneva show

Lexus also announced an LC 500h hybrid version of its flagship luxury coupe last year.

Total North American hybrid and plug-in hybrid sales were at 3 million units as of December 31, 2016.

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