Last week’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit presented the best the automotive industry had to offer, reportedly with significantly fewer fewer bells and whistles than usual, and a focus on greener, more energy efficient vehicles.
Along these lines, in an interview with the Canadian Press early last week, a senior Toyota Canada executive said there was no reason why Toyota wouldn’t one day manufacture its hybrid cars in Canada, especially if its new products prove to be as popular as the Prius.
|“There’s absolutely no reasons why hybrids could not be built in Canada.”|
— Toyota Canada executive
"We’ve said for a long time now we want to move hybrids across our lineup, so there’s absolutely no reasons why hybrids could not be built in Canada," he said in a telephone interview with the news organization. "The issue is, when do we get to that critical mass in the market that makes production feasible?"
"I would say this very aggressive movement toward introduction of new vehicles bodes well for advancing production over the near- to medium-term."
The automotive giant plans to launch nine new or revised vehicles in Canada this year, including the Scion brand, which has been sold in the U.S. since 2003 but couldn’t be bought in Canada until now. In a move trending across all of the world’s largest automakers, Toyota seemed to be charting the most aggressive path: it expects hybrid systems to become the standard for its most popular vehicles in the next few years, including a new family of Prius cars.
But opinion is split on whether an immediate move to hybrids was in the best interest of automakers, particularly in North America, where the market for such cars has yet to mature.
According to the National Post, Toyota said it plans to launch eight hybrid models in the next few years, and possibly a new smaller hybrid concept the automaker unveiled at the auto show, tentatively named the FT-CH.
The company plans to offer plug-in hybrids and all-electric cars starting in model-year 2012 and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles in 2015 in its global markets.