As of yet Toyota’s Prius Plug-in Hybrid is available in 14 key states, but that did not stop it in August from setting its second-best sales month of 1,791 units sold – a level to which the 50-state Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt are more accustomed.
This volume was a more-than-doubling from July’s 817 units sold, and significant in that the car has not broken past the high-900 unit mark all calendar year.
Last month’s 1,791 sold was better than its previous second-best month of November 2012 with 1,766 sold, and made for a new second-best next to October 2012 sales which consisted of 1,889 sold.
For what it’s worth, the PHV’s August 2013 sales also top last month’s Volt sales of 1,788 units, although this month the Volt smashed its record with 3,351. They also come close to the Leaf’s 1,864 Leafs sold in July, although again, Leaf outdid itself in August as well, with a new record of 2,420.
What this really means is uncertain. Frankly, August was a good month to be a car seller in America, and saw a number of records tumble in alternative and conventional segments.
And for now the Toyota is hunkered down in states that follow California’s Zero Emissions Vehicles rules, as well as a few neighboring states chosen for logistical convenience, according to Toyota’s Bob Carter, Senior Vice President, Automotive Operations, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.
These states are: California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Virginia.
The car may be ordered in any U.S. state however, Carter said, but it would need to be traded from a stocking dealer in one of the core states at customer request.
In a February 2012 Toyota press release, the company stated plans were for a 50-state rollout, but we heard no whisper of those plans during our talk with Carter and other Toyota executives at a Toyota media event last week.
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Toyota is otherwise bullish on the long-term forecast even if it’s not establishing high-volume levels just of yet.
The company’s intent to focus on its core strengths of hybrids and ultimately plug-in hybrids and fuel cell cars is part of its vision to maximize volume (ASAP), and not spend excessive effort on what it sees as cars with limited market potential, such as pure EVs.