Car is a precious and prestigious dream of every person. InDecember 1997, Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) of Japanlaunched its hybrid vehicles in the world. It used the ToyotaHybrid System (THS), which combined an internal combustionengine fueled by gasoline with an electric motor. Prius achieved a balance between high mileage and low emissions and was theupshot of the company’s initiative to produce environment-friendlyautomobiles and its goal of manufacturing the ‘ultimate Eco Car’.The car conformed to Japanese regulations and standards pertaining to environmental pollution. Having sold more than1,00,000 units worldwide by 2002, it was the best selling hybridcar model in the world. The company introduced further refinedmodels in 2000 and 2003. Toyota introduced Prius in the USmarket and consumer preferences there. It developed variosstrategies specifically for this market based on its researchfindings. The price of the new improved Prius was unchangedfrom that of the original Prius. These initiatives helped Prius to break successfully into the tough US market even though it was based on a new concept of a hybrid car.
What are hybrid cars?
Hybrid cars use a gasoline or diesel engine to powera motor. When the power of the motor is notrequired to move the vehicle, the motor can shut off,saving energy, or can be used to generate electricitythat is stored in batteries, and later used to powerthe car. Breaking can also be used to store power inthe batteries, by using magnetic rather than frictionbrakes. The simplest hybrids merely turn the motoroff when the car does not require locomotion, while