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Prius Accounts for 10% of All New Passenger Car Sales in Japan in November

5 December 2009

Toyota’s Prius maintained its top spot in Japan new passenger car sales in November for the seventh month in a row, posting 26,815 units, according to data from the Japan Automobile Dealers Association. Total passenger car sales for the month were 268,450 units.

Japanpriusnov
Monthly sales of the Prius in Japan since 2007. Click to enlarge.

Honda’s Insight hybrid came in fifth in the overall rankings for the month, with 9, 413 units sold. Combined, the two dedicated hybrids accounted for 13.5% of new vehicle sales for the month.

Hybrids have remained popular with buyers in Japan due to tax breaks and subsidies offered toward the purchase of fuel-efficient models since April, according to the Nikkei.

Toyota’s new SAI hybrid, which goes on sale on Monday, has already drawn pre-orders for some 14,000 units.

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Comments

This is amazing good news.

A single (Toyota Prius III) HEV captured 10% of the Japanese market. Two HEVs (Honda's and Toyata's) captured almost 14% of the local market.

This proves, that with proper incentives, over 50 mpg electrified vehicles will sell in very large numbers, even if price is higher. This is going to make non-believers and gatemakers feel sick.

Over 100 mpg PHEVs and BEVs will also sell amazingly well with higher fuel price and proper initial purchase incentives.

USA (Canada and others) need $7+/gal fuel and a meaningful incentive program to accellerate the introduction of HEVs, PHEVs and BEVs for at least the next 10 years.

Naysayers will hit the roof or try to run over electrified vehicles with their V-8 Hummers. I guess we will need laws against that.

The good news: Prius gets good mileage and saves oil.
The bad news: Prius is still mostly a ICE machine.
The summary: Toyota will keep selling them as long as they can.
Driver's strategy: Don't buy them now; wait for the BEVs to hit the market and see if the new BEVs meet your needs.

The goal is not to provide enough incentives for an EV to succeed but to provide an EV that succeeds WITHOUT incentives.

TT:

Oil and Gas people have been getting $15+B a year in incentives for a very long time.

Coal producers are getting almost as much.

Ethanol/corn producers get up to $24B a year.

Big-3 got over $35B.

Banks-Insurances and Wall Street Operators got over $700B.

The aircraft industries are getting over $25B a year in various incentives.

And the list is over a mile long...

Why not have a ($100+B a year) malus-bonus program to favour electrified non-polluting vehicles and penalize polluting vehicles by the same amount? It is working in many countries in Europe and in Japan.

The ethanol industry already has a similar program, i.e. an incentive of $0.45/gal paid (in part) with an import duty of $0.54/gal from the same (imported) ethanol.

If USA realy wants to reduce crude oil imports it has to reduce local consumption. Electrified vehicles (100,000,000+) will do that.

Lad:

Starting with a Prius 50 mpg HEV is a very good first step. Prius IV will get 60+ mpg. Prius 2012 PHEVs will get 120+ mpg. Prius 2015/2016 BEVs will not use fuel. Ford (and a few others) is also going through the same progressive approach to electrified vehicles.

The world needs higher performance (500+ Wh/Kg), lower cost ($250/Kwh) batteries to mass produce affordable BEVs. Since such batteries may not be available before 2015/2016, HEVs and PHEVs will play a valuable role for at least one+ decade.

The transition from ICEs to BEVs will take 2 to 3 decades and that's about normal. By 2030 our current ICE gas guzzlers will cease to be used and you may have to go to a museum to see one of them.

HarveyD:
Thanks for the info; figured Toyota had a transition plan for the Prius, just like all members of the AAMA have. I believe Nissan, not a member, is playing leap-frog and will pick up alot of early-adopters, especially if Nissan offers an upgrade path for their batteries. If you commute to work and your total range is less than about 80 miles, you may be a candidate for their new Leaf car. Also there are many retired people, like myself, who are not tied to schedules, who might be a candidate. I can hardly wait to see the Leaf on the roads.

"Oil and Gas people have been getting $15+B a year in incentives for a very long time."

You forget to mention the approx. $1000B in armed forces and covert protection given the industry over the last 50 years. Almost always unaccounted for. In which case the other subsidies pale.

How much are the incentives there in Japan worth? The figures I've seen don't seem to show what a huge difference it seems to have made in sales.

Maybe it's the combination in incentives adding up? How much are people saving over there?

@Hybrid Car Review

Prius case:
acquisition tax: 81k JPY -> 0
weight tax: 57.6k JPY -> 0
cache back: 100k JPY for new car purchase or 350k JPY for replacing more than 13 yrs old car (must be scrapped)

Lad: - I too hope that Nissan-Renault (and many others) will succeed in their all out efforts with BEVs + battery factories in Japan, USA/Tennessee and Portugal and in many other countries.

Of course, BEVs are the ultimate final solution if and when batteries performance and cost have been successfully addressed. However, PHEVs may be more suited for longer range applications. Pure BEV may not be well suited for heavy long range buses, trucks and locomotives where PHEVs with fuel cell range extender may do it better and relatively clean.

PHEVs and BEVs may co-exist for an extended period in many applications.

Meanwhile, most technologies developed for HEVs will be used for first generation PHEVs and BEVs. Nothing is realy wasted.

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