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Toyota Temporarily Trims Fleet Sales of Prius Due to Consumer Demand

Toyota Motor Sales is temporarily suspending model year 2006 Prius sales to government and rental fleets and cancelling existing order agreements due low inventories and an anticipated surge in retail demand.

The company is advising commercial fleet buyers that availability will remain limited with longer than normal order-to-delivery timing (“possibly in excess of six months”).

Due to Toyota’s exceptionally low retail dealer days supply position and an anticipated increase in future retail Prius demand stimulated by the recent passage of the Federal Highway Bill (retail tax credits & HOV lane eligibility), Toyota Motor Sales, USA Inc. is not in a position to accept MY06 Prius fleet production orders specific to government & rental fleets.

This regrettable but necessary action is being taken as a result of the company’s need to address the extreme shortage of Prius availability at the dealer retail level.

Commercial fleet orders will most likely need to be spread out over several order/delivery months as we manage customer demand against our established monthly production guides.

Toyota will restore fleet availability to government and rental buyers once production volumes are sufficient to meet both retail and fleet order demand.

(A hat-tip to Jack Rosebro!)



Well that's a mixed blessing.

It's good that they have so much demand that they can't keep up, and I'm sure their decision to forego large purchasers is financially wise.

That being said, there are more drivers of government and rental vehicles than there are of personal vehicles, per vehicle. In other words, for each personal Prius sold, it will have 1-5 drivers. For each government or rental, it could have 10 to 100 times that.

More people driving cars like the Prius will tickle a long term demand growth for personal purchasing, as more and more regular Americans discover that the Prius is as sweet on the drive as it is on the wallet.

Joseph Willemssen

This is almost certainly because of the new tax credit that's phasing in Jan 1 and will probably last only 6-9 months for Toyota vehicles. Watch how many Priuses and Highlanders get ordered right after New Years.

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