Toyota Offers Incentives for Prius

Feb. 17, 2007: Baltimore Sun—Cooling Prius Needs a Push

A Prius rolls off the assembly line at a Toyota plant.

Summary: If you’ve been trying to decide whether to buy a Prius, now may be the time. Until February 28, Toyota is offering low-interest financing and other (dealer) incentives for the gas sippers.

"Offers include zero-percent interest for 24 months, 2.9 percent for 36 months, 3.9 percent for 48 months and 4.9 percent for 60 months, or a $219 lease for 36 months.

"Toyota’s incentives come after the automaker sold 107,000 Priuses in the U.S. last year and increased production capacity in Japan in anticipation of selling 175,000 this year.

"Although Toyota is bullish on hybrids, analysts and other car companies question how much demand there is for the vehicles, which generally cost at least $2,000 more than a comparable gasoline model."

Sigh. Another article pushing the false assumption of "x dollars more" than a comparable model. The Prius’s low overall operating cost and milder depreciation are two reasons beyond fuel efficiency that can make it an attractive and economical choice for someone considering a new car. And until March 30, some buyers may benefit from the car’s income tax credit. (Don’t factor that in unless you actually owe taxes and have few deductions or other credits.)

The article goes on to quote a Nissan rep, Larry Dominique, about that company’s gloomy hybrid outlook. But if most Americans were to take Dominique’s advice and look five years down the road, they would be more likely—not less—to see hybrids as a smart financial move.


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  • Rob

    Everyone attracted to “green” technology always seem surprised or at least dismayed that people make purchase decisions that are heavily influenced by economics. It’s human nature. 1st year Business students learn this early. i.e., buying a Prius might have long term pluses, but it also represents sacrifices in other things people like. When gas prices went north of $3, the “attractiveness” of the Prius amoung rank and file consumers increased to outstrip supply. Supply has now gone up and at the same time demand has waned some due to the reduction in gas prices at $2. The truth is that if gas was back to $1 a gallon, the shift back to Suburbans would make your head spin. Again, human nature. If economically possible, most of us want a nice big comfy ride.

  • Aaron

    I agree, its a sad but true phenomena.

    The whole SUV craze was caused by ultra-cheap gas prices in the late 90’s, and hybrid car sales have peaked when gas prices peaked.

    Add “employee pricing” to SUVs people normally don’t want, and they suddenly forget the extra fuel and insurance costs of SUVs and purchase them…then whine about it later.

  • shady

    :upset :eek :grin 🙂 :roll 😕 :cry 🙁 😡 :sigh :p :zzz 8) :p

  • Diana

    😕 But you are omitting the people who are buying to help protect the environment. People do not buy hybrids soley for the price of gas. I can afford to drive a car that gets 6 MPG – but I choose to drive a car that will have less impact on the environment. Each year people will become more and more concerned about the impacts of these gas guzzlers on the earth. Hopefully people who drive big SUV’s will be socially pushed into rethinking their choices. 🙂

  • Mark

    I’m paying $2.79/gallon for regular in San Jose, California and prices will continue to rise this summer. If I weren’t in the fourth year of a five-year car loan, I’d be sitting in a hybrid right now. I will be in less than three years.