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Toyota Outpaces GM in 1Q Sales

Detroit Free Press. Toyota’s worldwide sales in the first quarter of 2007 climbed to 2.35 million units, passing GM’s 2.26 million units, making Toyota the world’s largest automaker by sales for the first time.

Toyota has steadily gained on GM in past few years, aided by a shift in the US market away from SUVs and toward more fuel-efficient options.



Detroit need to get off their butt_as Arnold told them recently. Maybe they are not impressed about what Arnold tells them but this news for sure is going to wake them up big time spilling coffee all over while reading the headline: Toyota is now the world’s biggest car producer second to none. When Toyota starts selling their next generation Pirus with a lithium battery pack which is supposed to cost only 50% of their current NiMh battery pack I predict the next big shock to Detroit is going to be the exploding sales figures for this Pirus. Good luck Detroit you will need it!

Harvey D.


Toyota at 4% above GM may be more than GM expected.

Do you believe that Toyota can produce enough Prius III (and other Toyotas similarly equipped) to meet the expected very high worldwide demand?

The new Prius Chinese + USA factories may help.

Wonder when the Toyota PHEVs will hit the market place?


And cue the GM Bashing.......Wait for it.....ok, NOW!!!


Where did you hear that the Lithium batteries are going to be 50% cheaper than NiMH? I think we are kidding ourselves if we think the next gen. Prius will be cheaper in any regard than the current model. Stranger things have happened, but I doubt this will be the case.


I really dont think the next generation Prius needs to be
any cheaper than the present model , when you look at
all the gear , and the quality of the build , then add in the
realibility , then its a bargain, plus its a fully integrated
system not somthing cobbled together as an afterthought!

Harvey D.


Toyota has said that the Prius III hybrid system will be up to 50% lighter and 50% cheaper than the Prius II equivalent system.

Of course, if the Prius II 1.3 Kwh battery is replaced with a 9 Kwh to 12 Kwh unit, the total battery pack price will be more. However, the price per Kwh may be 50% less.

According to Toyota, the current (avg) +$6k for the hybrid system (over the equivalent ICE vehicle price) may drop to +$3k or less with the new Prius III system.


Harvey D:
That's a little more explanatory--Thanks. So to re-cap, the cost per kwh may be 50% cheaper due to better battery efficiency and lighter weight, however the total cost of the Lithium battery pack will most likely be more. Funny how that is being spun. Is the Gen. 3 edition of the Prius going to be the PHEV that we've heard about? If so, I really, really, doubt that the Gen. 3 will be cheaper than the current model. If you look to CalCars to convert your regular Prius to a Plug-in version, I think they charge in the neighborhood of $10-12,000, (don't quote me on that, but I think I'm in the ball park). I know all the rhetoric about economies of scale, but I don't think Toyota will be able to match the price of the current model, let alone beat it.

Harvey D.


We may have to wait for the Prius III (+ ?) for a PHEV version.

The first Prius III version (most likely for late 2008 or early 2009) may be a redesigned Prius II with a new advanced lighter hybrid system + first generation quick charge, limited capacity (6 to 9 Kwh) lithium battery pack. Fuel consumption may be about 30% less than the Prius II.

The Prius III (+ ?) (in 2010?) may include a PHEV version + a second generation higher capacity (15 to 25 Kwh) advanced battery pack. Fuel consumption may be better than 100 mpg, specially on short (60 to 100 Km) trips.

The step by step approach used by Toyota will most likely produce improved hybrids, reliable PHEVs and excellent BEVs.

GM, Ford & Chrysler could eventually do it but they have a lot of catching up to do. I would place my bets on Toyota to produce the best integrated cleaner electric dominant vehicles.


I've happily banged the drum for Prius since it's first days. But let's not forget the Prius remains a loss leader for Toyota. They plan on making serious bucks on the big gas sucking Tundra that no one wants to... ahem, BASH.


Schmeltz my source for the 50% cut in the Prius battery is http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/07_10/b4024075.htm. Harvey they will not launch the next Prius simultaneously in all markets. They start at one location (presumably Japan) and expand to other markets when the chiefs of manufacturing report that they are ready to meet the expected demand for those markets. So yes they will be able to deliver in reasonably time when they open up in a market for this car. The next Prius will not be a PHEV I think that is too much too fast. This Prius is supposed to go on sale early 2009. They also need to have their battery supplier to ram up production for a PHEV which uses 4-6 times more battery than a hybrid. That will take time. I think a PHEV from Toyota at the earliest will hit the market in late 2010.

I don’t think people buy the Prius to save money. They don’t. It is an expensive car for what you get. The Prium is bought by people who don’t care much about money but who care much about the environment. That may change with the next Prius. Toyota may choose to use the saved money to beef it up with extra stuff or they can sell it for less. I am sure they will beef it up. Also time is with Toyota because gas is likely to increase further and more people than ever will want to be more green in their consumption. This time Detroit will not be saved by dropping gas prices only hard work will change the game for Detroit.

Mark R. W. Jr.

If GM can bring the Chevy Volt to market at its proposed cost of US $17-18K, it could give the Prius a run for its money.

Harvey D.

Mark R.W.

Do you truly believe that a 5-passenger Chevy Volt PHEV will sell for $17K-$18K (USD) in 2010-2015?

If so, the battery pack, charger, wheels, tires, radio, A/C, cruise control, seats, doors and windows may not be included or be available as extras or on rental basis.

Seriously, a road ready GOOD quality American made PHEV with electric only autonomy of 60+ Km will probably cost twice as much as you stated.

Robert Schwartz

" and toward more fuel-efficient options."

Like its brand new line of monster pick-up trucks.


Harvey D
It is a total untruth put about by the car manufacturers
that an electric car manufactured in volume should cost any more
than its ICE equivalent , the only reason that the offerings available
at the moment are so expensive is because there are so few made,
production runs of less than 100 or so .
If electric cars where the norm and some two bit company
decided to make a car using the ICE instead , how much do you think
the first 50 or so would cost , I reckon try 4 to 5 times the cost of the
cost of its electric equivalent , electric cars will be , that is if anyone
has the balls to make them in anything like serious prodution quantitys
well cheaper to produce than ICE cars .
Already we have a motorway capable EV on the horizon for
about $30000 coming in 2008 from China , OK labour costs are low ,
but at this price for the first serious production EV its quite remarkable,
Its just a great shame that it has to come from China and not from the
western world , and I think we all know the reason why is that all the
big companies are spending more time and money trying to fight the
introduction of EVs than they are developing their own !
I for one will never buy another ICE engined car , I will buy
my first EV next year , it will be a shame if my cash ends up in China !


When the Prius II first came out, the NiMH pack was put at $1,000. Since then, the price of nickel metal itself has spiralled to bizarre new heights, putting the cost per kWh quite a lot higher for NiMH than it used to be.

Hence the switch to LiIon is also a cost saving venture for Toyota. The 9-mile electric range will come from a ~3 kWh pack using 65% available SOC. It will also be lighter and more powerful than the existing NiMH pack.

Older 1400 mAh lithium-ion 18650 cells are already on sale at $3.50 each ($700 per kWh). All we need is the latest 2800 mAh to mature to the same price point and we're at $350 per kWh. Materials prices are not the limiting factor for lithium-ion.

Harvey D.


I agree with you that, with the exception of the electrical storage unit (ESU), a BEV should cost less to build than an equivalent size ICE.

The problem is the current very high cost (up to $50k) for the 50+ KWh ESU pack (or enough energy for 250 miles, hence the PHEV compromise with an ESU one quarter the size (12.5+ Kwh), one quarter the price ($12.5k) and one quarter the 'electric only' autonomy (about 62.5 miles).

Without a major drop in battery price, the first generation PHEV will probably cost about $12.5k more than the ICE equivalent.

China and India, with their must lower labour cost, could break the BEV price by up to 50%.

BEVs mass produced in China or India could compete with equivalent size ICE produced in USA/Canada/Japan/Europe. This may happen starting 2009/2010. What an opportunity for GM, to produce 4 to 5 million BEVs a year in China, close 50% + of the USA/Canada ICE plants and regain first place from Toyota. Will GM or Toyota to it first?


For the issues discussed here there is a really informative article at Popular Machines. See http://www.popularmechanics.com/automotive/new_cars/4215489.html?page=1. Got new info on A123 batteries. Now the vice President at A123 say their newest cell is god for 7000 recycles. Also new info on cost of batteries.


Peter Delorenzo's comments on GM are worth a read, even if you might not learn anything new.


interesting times


I've got that issue of Popular Mechanics and there is a similar article in the sister magazine, Popular Science too. Thanks for mentioning those articles as they are a great read for anybody who visits this site. Recommend them highly.

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