Overall Toyota sales fell 8.7 percent in February, but Prius sales increased by more than 10 percent compared to February 2009. The ability for Prius sales to resist the avalanche of negative publicity—related to Toyota safety problem, including the recall of 2010 Priuses for brake issues—continues the long-standing trend of hybrid sales defying larger market forces, including the economic recession.
Toyota has been offering low lease rates for Prius, as well as Avalon, Camry, Corolla, Highlander, Matrix, RAV4, Tundra and Venza. Despite incentives, Corolla sales fell 6.1 percent in February.
March numbers for Prius sales could continue to rise. After disclosing February sales today, Toyota announced it will continue to offer deals. Dealers are also offering free premium maintenance programs.
Special pricing—which apply to vehicles under recall including Prius, Camry and Corolla— are “unprecedented in the history of Toyota,” said Toyota brand manager Bob Carter.