Toyota, standing tall behind the Prius, was the first company to mass produce a hybrid vehicle that was successful in the United States. The Prius launched in Japan in October 1997 and made its way to America by July 2000, and over the next few years the company would launch several other hybrid models. On this day in 2009 Toyota announced that it has sold its one millionth gas-electric hybrid in the US under its six Toyota and Lexus brands. More than 700,000 of them were Priuses, which was more than half of all the Priuses sold worldwide by that time.
Other hybrid models sold under the Toyota umbrella at the time included the Lexus RX 400h, the world’s first hybrid luxury vehicle, which was followed by the Toyota Highlander hybrid which launched in June 2005. Just over two years later, on April 6, 2011, Toyota announced it had sold its one millionth Prius in the United States.