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The Prius is not doing well in China. According to Gasgoo.com, Toyota sold 2,152 Priuses in 2006 but the number dropped to 414 in 2007. Hoping to stop slowing sales, Toyota is trying price cuts, the first since the green car was introduced to China in 2005. The second-generation and Navigation edition Prius' prices will be cut by roughly eight percent or $3,000. Toyota will also delay the introduction of the third-generation Prius in China by six months to Spring 2009.
Prius sales are down in China due to the lack of acceptance of hybrids and increased competition. The Honda Civic hybrid was imported to China last year and more hybrids are coming to China from GM and Changan this year.

[Source: Gasgoo.com, Shanghai Daily via AutoSpies]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      Ya gotta love free market competition in a communist country. What a strange world...
      • 6 Years Ago
      Charles S, Thanks for the info. I was looking into that. I think one of the articles said they are made in China. Tariffs might not be the explanation.
      • 6 Years Ago
      @Charles S
      Wasn't the PR in China about cutting emissions in 2008 for the Olympics? I think China is just barely taking notice of the environment because of the Olympics, but I doubt they plan to do much in the long term. They need such a dramatic reduction in Beijing for the Olympics that I don't think the Prius will make much of an impact. Their coal based energy is what causes a lot of the pollution too.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Consider that for the same money one can but a Buick in China which carries significantly more status.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Charles S, Thanks again! I am planning to write a post about governments and green cars and I will mention this.

      • 6 Years Ago
      Lascelles Linton:

      Yes, I know the Prius is locally made, but there was some taxes on it. I read that probably in Yahoo News, but found a quote from Business Week:

      "Thanks to high duties on imported parts used in the assembly of the Chinese Prius at a plant in the north eastern city of Changchun, the hybrids went on sale at $36,000. That’s about $15,000 higher than the equivalent price in Japan or the U.S. and enough to put off even the greenest of Chinese auto buyers from ordering a new Prius."
      • 6 Years Ago
      What's not mentioned in this blog is the price of Prius compare to other vehicles in China. First, the 8% equate to $3000 (Principle is $37,500) should give the first clue.

      There was another article a short time back about slow sales of hybrids and other alt-fuel vehicles, it mentioned that the Prius is something like twice the price of a typical car in China. Part of it may due to tariffs, too.

      In any case, it seems that while China government is doing good PR about conserving fuel and cutting emissions for 2008, I guess at the local level, there really isn't much support at all.