Hybrid Corolla debuts in Japan

Bloomberg

Toyota Motor Corp. began selling a hybrid version of its best-selling Corolla in Japan on Tuesday to attract cost-conscious buyers seeking better fuel economy.

Hybrid versions of the Corolla Axio and Corolla Fielder went on sale, the Axio starting at ¥1.925 million and the Fielder at ¥2.085 million, Toyota said.

Both hybrid versions of the Corolla have a fuel-economy rating of 33 km per liter under Japan’s testing standards, compared with 21.2 for the gasoline Fielder and 21.4 for the Axio, it said.

The new gasoline-and-electric Corolla is part of Toyota’s plans to introduce 17 hybrid models by the end of 2015. Cumulative sales of the Corolla nameplate vehicles, which first went on sale in 1966, reached 39.7 million units as of the end of April, according to the company.

Toyota said it expects to sell a combined 2,500 of the gasoline-electric models a month and will build them at its factory in Miyagi Prefecture.