With the launch of new variants, having paid its dues in gaining acceptance, and in light of generally high fuel prices this year, plus other positive sales pressures, Toyota’s Prius line became the third-ranked last quarter.
Last quarter global Prius line sales were 247,230 units, according to Bloomberg, compared to 300,800 Toyota Corollas and 277,000 recorded Ford Focus sales.
This latest feather in Toyota’s cap comes as it recently traded places again with GM as the world’s largest automaker, and having three top-10 models, the Camry line being the third aside from the Corolla and Prius.
The Prius line now consists of the Liftback, Plug-In, Prius v and Prius c.
Japanese sales in post-tsunami Japan for the Aqua – as the Prius c is called there – have also helped a lot. Prius family sales have tripled in that country from 175,080 in Q1 versus 52,507 last year.
Eric Noble, president of California-based automotive consultancy firm, the Car Lab, said to Bloomberg what HybridCars.com readers have long thought in assessing the Prius family success.
“It proves Prius wasn’t a fluke, that there’s a long-term market for hybrids,” he said.
Toyota’s Group Vice President of Global Sales, Bob Carter, said also the Prius line success makes it a de fact brand.
“Prius is a Prius first and a Toyota second,” Carter said. “The fact it’s doing well this year is a reflection of the strength of the model line and the Prius brand.”
Carter said he’s ordered additional production, noting especially high demand in Japan, and said he is confident he get more in the available supply for the U.S. also.