A Reuters article highlighted the differences between the policies of U.S. automakers and Toyota as to their approach to making vehicles more efficient and reduce energy independence. Toyota has already invested in hybrid technology and while U.S. automakers also are starting to make hybrids their emphasis is on alternatively fueled vehicles and fuel cell vehicles.
I don't see either of these strategies as attacking the problem head on. Some hybrids, like the Prius, are significant energy savers, but most improve mileage marginally. Only the hybrids with large energy savings come close to saving the consumer any money due to the large incremental cost of the hybrid. Toyota currently makes 6 hybrid models with a 7th to be introduced next year. Toyota could produce 1 million hybrids a year in the next decade, which is still a small share of the auto market.