Worldwide Prius Cumulative Sales Top 2M Mark; Toyota Reportedly Plans Two New Prius Variants for the US By End of 2012
|Annual worldwide sales of the Prius to September 2010. Data: TMC. Click to enlarge.|
Worldwide cumulative sales of the Toyota Prius have passed the 2-million mark, with approximately 2,012,000 units sold as of the end of September, according to Toyota. Currently, the Prius is sold in more than 70 countries and regions.
Worldwide Prius sales have been buoyed since 2009 by the introduction in Japan of a government subsidy for green cars that propelled Prius to be the top-selling car in Japan for 17 months in a row. In 2007, sales in Japan represented 21% of all Prius sales worldwide and in 2008, 26%. In 2009, that share jumped to 52%, and for Jan-Sep 2010, the figure is 63%.
|A surge in Prius sales in Japan offset declines in the North American market since 2009. Data; TMC. Click to enlarge.|
Conversely, North America accounted for 65% of worldwide Prius sales in 2007; 57% in 2008; 36% in 2009; and 26% for Jan-Sep 2010. The subsidy expired on 7 September, and Prius sales in Japan fell 14.2% on the year to 27,249 units for the month.
The Wall Street Journal reports that, according to dealers briefed on the plans, Toyota will introduce two new variants of the Prius hybrid in the US by the end of 2012. One Prius is said to offer 50% more interior space and storage than the current Prius, and the smaller version reportedly will be closer in size to the Toyota Yaris model.
|Annual sales, in thousand units. Data: TMC. Click to enlarge.|
The Prius was launched in Japan in 1997 and began selling in Europe, North America and other markets in 2000. The second generation was released in 2003 and the third generation in 2009.
More than 90% of the Toyota Hybrid System II (THS II) was redesigned for the third generation.
Toyota says that it has made a concerted effort to promote and popularize hybrid technology, chiefly through the Prius. Toyota aims to sell annually at least 1 million hybrid vehicles as early as possible in the 2010s.