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Toyota Prius voted car of the year

The Toyota Prius has been voted 2005 European Car of the Year.

After two rounds of voting, the car was chosen from a list of seven finalists and declared winner after gathering 406 points.

Tadashi Arashima, president and CEO of Toyota Motor Marketing Europe says: "This is a major milestone in the acceptance of the hybrid powertrain and the recognition of its potential to become a mainstream technology. It is also a great encouragement to us in our work on developing more environmentally friendly vehicles."

Following its introduction in early 2004, Prius sales in Europe are expected to reach 8,500 units this year. Next year, the sales target has been set at 15,000 units for Europe, whilst an increase in production capacity will allow 180,000 cars to be sold worldwide.

In the UK around 1,400 Prius have been sold this year.

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