Curbside Newsstand: Toyota Camry Returns to Europe – Only as a Hybrid – And Has Eyes on Taxi Market

In case you didn’t know it, in a very challenging European market Toyota is bucking the odds and growing its market share quite nicely. And it’s all on the back of their hybrid technology, which is being embraced as the clean alternative to the dirty diesels there. Toyota sold some 480k cars in Europe last year, and 46% were hybrids. In western Europe, it was 60% hybrids, and they could sell more if they could get more.

And rejoining the Toyota lineup is the Camry, in hybrid form only. And among other things, the taxi market is very much in its visor. Why not? Toyota practically owns the taxi market in the US, Japan and many other countries. Their reliability is unsurpassed, and as a hybrid, it has the stellar efficiency and operating economy to boot. Watch out Mercedes!


Thanks to its hybrids, Toyota has the best (lowest)  corporate CO emission average of any major player in the European market. Dieselgate has been a huge boon for Toyota in Europe, and their sales growth is only limited by supply.

Meanwhile, Toyota’s US hybrid sales have been rather stagnant. The Prius has dropped considerably in the past couple of years, but the growth of the RAV4 hybrid and other SUVS is offsetting that somewhat. And a RWD version for trucks is reportedly on the way.

The next generation of Toyota hybrids will also emphasize performance more, undoubtedly with more powerful electric motors and stouter batteries. That makes a lot of sense, as the instant torque of EVs has become the gold standard. If Toyota doesn’t yet have true EVs, they see their next-gen hybrids as the next best thing.