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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.



A great success story. Future Mini-Prius and Maxi-Prius will attract even more customers. Future improved Prius (IV?) HEV will probably reach 60+ mpg. Their improved Prius PHEV may reach 100+ mpg.

Success belong to those who dare. Toyota will be remembered as the father of fuel efficient Hybrids.

Their PHEVs and future BEVs will probably have similar success.


They deserve all the accolades, all the sales and all the success they've achieved with this product. Good people with a good motive and a good vision. I hope other companies aspire to emulate Toyota.


Prius is becoming a brand all by itself. Not bad.


At 1+ M Priuses per year, the cost differential with ICE equivalent may be as low as $1000. Secondly, they are the first necessary step to future lower cost PHEVs and BEVs. Many e-accessories, battery modules, controllers, chargers and parts will be common.


Congratulations Toyota and sorry the GM/Chevron/US patent/legal system wouldn't have let you continue selling EV Rav4's for a dozen years as well.


Will patent rights delay progress forever or will other countries follow China and ignore them?


I am not sure that many would have predicted this in 1999. Lutz at GM was saying that hybrids were just a fad and they were losing money on every car. Toyota went on to earn $10 billion in profits every year while GM was losing $20 billion per year.


Good for Toyota. They did pioneer the HEV and when we drove ours in 2004-5 it was a delight. This car has made the road to electrification much wider and we should be grateful.

Let's not forget that Toyota has had its share of issues. Their gas pedal and massive recalls recently have put a damper on their once impeccable image.

A larger and smaller Prius would be welcome. Hybrids are leading the transition.


Wouldn't it be great if the mini-Prius gets 60 MPG and the Alpha Prius gets 40 MPG? Nice round numbers with the 50 MPG current mid-size Prius.


Yes usbseawolf, 4, 5 and 6 passenger Priuses may very well do 60+, 50+ and 60+ mpg. I added a + because the current 5-passenger Prius will soon do better than the current (avg) 50 mph.

By 2015, the 3 Priuses (together) will probably sell at the rte of 1+ M a year.

It will take years for others to catch up.


Correction: should read .... 60+, 50+ and 40+ mpg.....


Actually, there is a stretched "Limo" Prius out there. It seats 8 and still gets 50mpg;


Thanks for the limo link, never saw that one before.


Stretch Prii - green ostentation.


How did they achieve 50 mpg with a stretched Prius II in 2007? That's much better than Toyota could do? If it is so easy to do, why isn't Toyota doing it and mass produce a family 8-passenger 50+ mpg Prius III-E.

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