Hybrid focus for Toyota and Lexus fleet
The manufacturer announced a resurgence in its fleet efforts at its annual conference last December, launching a new customer charter to ensure strong aftersales service and a new tax calculator available as a smartphone app to help its business customers choose an appropriate vehicle.
Fleet sales for 2012, to date, total 20,000 units – a 27% rise for Toyota and 31% for Lexus – and the manufacturer is conducting a large-scale product offensive with hybrid models at its core. This year, the refreshed Prius family will grow to include a plug-in hybrid and seven-seat Prius+ MPV, as well as the Yaris Hybrid supermini.
Lexus has followed strong demand for its new CT 200h last year with an all-new GS, and the GS 450h now the most efficient petrol-electric hybrid in its class. A small capacity GS hybrid will follow next year, and is claimed to rival diesel models on CO2 emissions, which could make it a key fleet model for the manufacturer.
Shepherd said hybrid technology had all the right qualities for fleets: ‘Petrol hybrid technology is the fundamental basis for our future technology development,’ he said. ‘It offers low emissions, higher efficiency, quiet driving and dynamic performance in terms of power and acceleration. Hybrid is the future in fleet – it offers businesses a flexible modern option for a truly green fleet.’