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Christopher Bruce2012-05-29 15:02:38

Toyota Prius Becomes World's Third Best-Selling Car

The Prius Plug-In is among the new models Toyota launched with the Prius name

When ToyotaToyotaToyotaJapan, 1937 > present155 models
4668 photos
10 videos
launched the PriusPrius Gen.3Toyota Prius Gen.3Japan, 2010 > present54 versions
118 photos
2 videos
in Japan in 1997, no one expected that it would be the world's third best-selling car today. Granted, that is among all of the Prius models including the Prius cPrius cToyota Prius cJapan, 2012 > present9 photos
and Prius vPrius vToyota Prius vJapan, 2011 > present3 photos
. The Prius models have sold 247,230 cars this year that just trails behind the Ford FocusFocus Gen.3 [III]Ford Focus Gen.3 [III]United States of America, 2012 > present10 versions
23 photos
that sold 277,000 and Toyota CorollaCorolla Gen.10Toyota Corolla Gen.10Japan, 2006 > 201334 versions
50 photos
that sold 300,800 cars this year. The Prius in large part has propelled Toyota back into position as the world's largest automaker during the first quarter. 

Tax credits in Japan have lowered the Prius' price to about $25,000 and led to increased sales. The cheaper Aqua, the Prius C in the US, has also been a big seller in Japan.

"It was good that introduction of Aqua and the start of government subsidies happened almost at the same time," said Koichi Sugimoto, a Japanese automotive analyst.

Sales in the US increased 42% in the first quarter and are up 56% through April. It has sold 86,027 Prius models in the US this year. The higher sales are partially attributed to higher gas prices in the US. 

The Prius defined the hybrid car as it was rolled out across the world. It makes buyers feel more comfortable, and it is often the first hybrid they think of when they go to buy. Now, Prius is really a separate brand from Toyota, and Toyota is even playing on this fact at least in the US. The vehicle called the Aqua in Japan and Yaris HybridShogun 4x4 3.2 SG4Mitsubishi Shogun 4x4 3.2...Japan, 2011 > present1 photo
in Europe is badged as the Prius c in the US. 

The demand for the Prius in the US and Japan might actually lead to shortages later in the year. Current projections show that 250,000 Priuses could be sold in the US this year, but Toyota only allocated 220,000 cars to the US this year. Bob Carter, Toyota's Vice President for US Sales, has requested more cars, but it is not clear if the request will be successful. 

Source: Automotive News

Prius Gen.3Prius Gen.3
Prius 1.8Prius 1.8
Straight 4
110 cu in
Top Speed
112 mph
continuously variable transmission
Maximum power
99 hp @ 5200 rpm
Petrol / Electric
Fuel consumption (combined)
63.57 US MPG
$ 38.288
* based on Portugal prices
annual ownership cost
$ 1.564




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