Though not many noticed, Toyota employed the use of incentives to increase sales of its Prius hybrid for the first time ever in January. The incentives varied around the country and included low lease payments, cheap financing and cash back to dealers for each unit sold. Automotive News reports that in New York state, customers could order up a Prius lease for just $249 per month. In Michigan, Ohio and Kentucky, shoppers could finance the little guy for 3.9% for 36 months.

Toyota's goal is to reach 150,000 Prius sales in 2007, which is a large jump by any measure considering that only 106,971 units were sold in 2006, down from 107,897 in 2005. We remember a time when the line for a Prius was out the door and interested parties waited months for delivery of one of those shiny, new Priuses. It's interesting that in just the first month of 2007, Toyota has already resorted to incentives to ensure that its goal of 150,000 sold remains in sight. For its effort, the company was rewarded with the best January for Prius sales yet. Sales were up 8.4% with 8,299 units sold. There's still a long way to go, however, to hit 150,000.

If you were hoping to get a sweet deal on a Prius after reading this – sorry, the incentives reportedly ended on January 31st.

Thanks Aaron for the tip!

[Source: Automotive News – sub. req'd]


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