Posts Tagged ‘Prius’
Fifteen short years ago, Prius was the new kid on the block. A lot has changed in that time. We at Gresham Toyota sell quite a few Prii, but that has become a nationwide trend. According to a recent article in Businessweek, in Q1 2012, only bigger brother Toyota Corolla and the Ford Focus sold more units.
Earlier this month Toyota announced it has sold over four million hybrid vehicles. With hybrid variations for many of its cars and four vehicles in the Prius family (the third-generation Prius, the Prius Hybrid, the five-door Prius v, and the newcomer Prius c), the company proves that the market for fuel-efficient and eco-friendly vehicles is continuing to grow.
U.S. demand is projected to outpace supply by 30,000 units in 2012 as the brand grows globally, especially in its home country of Japan. Barring unforeseen circumstances along the lines of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, which slowed global production, approximately 220,000 new Prii will be designated for the U.S. market.
The Prius, with the Corolla and midsize Camry, the top-selling car in the U.S. for the past 10 years, now give Toyota three of the top 10 selling cars in the States.
According to an article from The Wall Street Journal’s Market Watch, on April 30th, Toyota announced global cumulative sales of its hybrid vehicles have surpassed 4 million units. Toyota has always been a leader in quality, fuel efficiency and value, and its dominance of the rapidly growing hybrid market illustrates their commitment to producing environmentally-friendly and technologically advanced vehicles for the mass market.
Although the Prius, which came to North America in 2000, may be most familiar hybrid brand to those of us here in Oregon and across the US, Toyota’s first hybrid vehicle was actually a minibus, the Coaster Hybrid EV. Debuting in Japan in August 1997, production of the Coaster Hybrid continued until 2007.
According to Toyota, the Prius C and Prius V models, two very recent additions to the family, have already made up approximately 250,000 of those 4 million units sold. Now in its third generation, the Prius makes up the lion’s share of those sales at 2.6 million units. Toyota hybrids don’t stop at the Prius, though. Toyota sells 18 hybrid passenger vehicles across 80 countries. The best-selling passenger car in North America, the Toyota Camry, added the Camry Hybrid to its line in 2006. For those in the market for an SUV, Toyota offers the Highlander Hybrid with seating for up to 7 passengers.
The pace of hybrid vehicle sales has been steadily increasing for Toyota, which hit the one million units sold milestone in May 2007, a decade after the Coaster Hybrid EV premiered. It took 27 months for Toyota to reach the two million mark, and only 18 months to pass three million, which it did in February 2011.
Ten years ago, earth-conscious (and money-conscious) buyers didn’t have much of a choice when it came to vehicles: they could drive a Prius or nothing at all. Toyota pioneered green technology, and for years it was the only automaker that saw hybrids as worthy of production. By now the Prius isn’t only one of the most popular vehicles in the world; it’s paved the way for dozens of other green cars to enter the market. One of the most significant newcomers is the Chevy Volt, which claims owners can achieve hundreds of MPG in fuel efficiency. But is that right? We at Gresham Toyota decided to draw up some comparisons between the cars and let you decide which is best.
The Toyota Prius has been tested endlessly over the past decade, and can easily claim an EPA score of 50 MPG. Because it relies on both a gasoline engine and an electric battery, that number never changes. The Volt, on the other hand, with a full charge can drive for 30 miles in warm weather without burning a drop of fuel. Once that battery dries up, the gasoline engine also kicks in, which achieves 37 MPG.
The winner: it depends. On a road trip, a Prius will use exponentially less fuel. If Volt owners only drive 20-30 miles a day and charge their engines for ten hours every night, they won’t use any gas, but will see a hefty increase in their electric bill.
This category isn’t really a competition. The Chevy Volt can only hold four occupants, and it’s reported to feel much more cramped than the five-seated Toyota Prius.
The winner: Prius.
When the Prius first emerged, detractors said it would never last; that the hybrid engine would break down in just a few years. Over a decade later, it remains a strong, dependable vehicle. Because the Volt is only one year old, no one knows how its engine and performance will hold up over time.
The winner: inconclusive. People who need to know their investment will last should choose a Prius.
Flagship models are never cheap, and the least-expensive version of the Volt still costs about $40,000. Even a fully-loaded Prius costs around $10,000 less. As production methods streamline and technology becomes more available, the price of the Volt may drop, but for now, picking Toyota will save you thousands.
The winner: Prius.
Though the concept of an all-electric car is great, the Volt just doesn’t compare to the Prius. It was the first mass-produced hybrid vehicle, and it continues to reign as the most affordable, dependable, and fuel-efficient car on the market.
With so many politicians talking and so many households restructuring their budgets, you can’t help but notice the latest spike in gas prices. It’s affecting everything, even in Portland with all of our bike lanes and sidewalks. Whenever gas station attendants adjust the numbers on their signage, it has a rippling effect on the rest of the economy. Retail managers see a dip in sales; neighbors start carpooling more; and according to Kelly Blue Book, hybrids like the Prius surge in resale value. Last month alone, the 2010 Toyota Prius gained over $1,000 in value—a number that’s just going to grow.
The reason is high school economics: everyone wants to save at the pumps, so the demand for fuel-efficient cars has risen. As prices continue to rise, so will the demand for hybrids along with their resale value. Kelly Blue Book says a used Prius may be worth 20% more by the time the gas crisis is over. Since cars notoriously lose value over time, the Prius has become just as much of an investment as a vehicle.
This isn’t to say that you should purchase three Prii and sit on them as a commodity investment. What this market trend reveals is simply the value of driving a hybrid. While gas prices continue to soar, Prius drivers see only a slight effect, which has made others jealous. They want that same financial immunity, so if you have a Prius, you’re among the lucky ones. And if you’re looking to buy a new car, you might consider a hybrid for their resale value, if nothing else.
Continuing with a commitment to develop innovative future vehicles, Toyota has is releasing new additions to the Prius family. Last week’s New York Auto Show set the stage for a reveal of the crossover Prius V and a tri-engine electric plug-in version. As reported in a recent New Jersey Newsroom, each vehicle will compete in different car segments.
The Prius V will be one of the newest additions to the crossover segment and is set to compete with the likes of the Honda Crosstour and Nissan Murano. The roomier Prius V achieves only slightly less gas mileage than the original, with an estimated EPA rating of 42 MPG city and 38 MPH highway. This is an impressive feat for a full-sized family ride. Other features include folding second row seats and an Entune multimedia entertainment system.
Competing in an entirely different niche is the Prius Plug-In Electric vehicle. So far, 160 “test” vehicles are already on the road. The new plug-in goes a step further than the original Prius, allowing the driver to use a third power system. The addition of the third has already proved useful in increasing mileage between power-ups.
We can’t wait to see the latest Prius models hitting the pavement early next year.