• Apr 15, 2009
2010 Toyota Prius – Click above for a high-res image gallery

The well-publicized battle for hybrid sales supremacy between Honda and Toyota has taken yet another intriguing turn. According to Japan's Nikkei newspaper, Toyota is saying that it expects to take 40,000 preorders in Japan for its new 2010 Prius hybrid ahead of its official rollout in May. For the sake of comparison, the Japanese automaker sold a total of 73,100 Prius hybrids in all of 2008.

More importantly, rival automaker Honda managed to sell about 18,000 copies of its latest Insight hybrid in its first month on sale. By all accounts, Honda was delighted to move that many Insights – the automaker had predicted that it would only sell about 5,000 units for the first month the hybrid was available in Japan.

A few months ago, Honda made a big splash by pricing the smaller, slightly less fuel efficient Insight a few million yen (or a few thousand dollars) below the starting price of the standard-setting Prius. In response, Toyota announced it would keep the previous generation Prius around for at least another year and dropped that model's price to match the Insight.

But that wasn't enough for Toyota – earlier this month, the automaker set the starting price for the new 2010 model at 2.05 million yen ($20,750), which is just about the same as the mid-level Insight. The next chapter: U.S. pricing for the 2010 Prius has yet to be announced. Let the games continue.



[Source: Reuters]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 35 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Correct.

      The HONDUH insight is all about cost cutting measures. it's terrible inside and out. HONDUH just interpreted a combination of cheapness and HYBRID technology in one package....i congratulate them.


      Prius is still #1
        • 5 Years Ago
        How can you say that without having driven one? Oh, and the prius is the gold standard for quality. I like that velco and duct tape affair on the top gear test car. Quality. Yeah. Awesome.

        Fanboy.
      • 5 Years Ago
      No bad. There will always be some who will buy such cars.
      • 5 Years Ago
      te question is are these dealer orders or are these customers with cash in hand orders
        • 5 Years Ago
        Cash is in their hands when the car is in mine. These are serious buyers who have the financial means to purchase or the available financing.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'll pay you $100 if you don't ever make another post about a Prius.
        • 5 Years Ago
        at least not using that main pic, god it looks awkward!
        HotRodzNKustoms
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'll math it with 3,745,677,700 Zimbabwe dollars
        • 5 Years Ago
        @zamafir,

        The main picture does look awkward, due to the odd headlight shape.

        The far side headlight sticks out so far that you can see it across the car, and how it protrudes from the bodywork. It is an odd surfacing technique.

        plus the prominent chin underbite look that is prevalent anymore, and the lump-ish profile doesn't help.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Sam, TyWright: Autoblog is not a newspaper or magazine, in which coverage of one story means less coverage of another story due to limitations in page count. If you don't like Prius stories, Mustang stories, etc, etc, you have every right to skip it and move on.
        HotRodzNKustoms
        • 5 Years Ago
        *match

        I really need to learn to take time to proofread.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Thats all the employees at New York Times.
        • 5 Years Ago
        lol libruls
        • 5 Years Ago
        Haha, and cab companies. And Kyle from South Park's parents.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I guess I just don't get the whole pre-order thing. Sounds like hype to me. If they had that many deposits it would be news worthy imo. I think Toyota has like 1400 dealers, so that means each one wants to have 28 on the ground. Seems like about right for a volume seller during high summer gas price season. But it really sounds like each dealer is trying to out horde the other. They probably can't fill that many orders for the next six months.
      • 5 Years Ago
      just keeps on getting uglier everytime i see it

      a new akward angle shows up at every first look

      too bad, cause it they would have made it decent looking I htink they would have had twice the success

      and no the new Honda is not good looking either. it's just as ugly
      • 5 Years Ago
      ...And San Francisco cheers.
      • 5 Years Ago
      this thing gets 60 ish mpg and insights gets about 43mpg. that's a huge huge difference.

      why would anybody buy a insight over prius?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Some people love Hondas. Also, the Prius isn't out yet, and there's no pricing announced. But mainly because it isn't out yet, people who decided they want a car now, won't wait if they are in the market for the newest thing on the block.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I sat in both the Insight and Prius at the NY show... the Prius is years ahead of the Honda. The seats in the Insight SUCKED - there was not leg support in those things. It was uncomfortable. The Prius is much better in this regard. The Insight was like the current Prius's seats for tall people.

        I don't understand what Toyota is worried about, the Prius is a class above the Insight.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Possibly because the 43 is a real number and the 60 is some bogus made-up drivel like the original prius ratings? Remember how much they have altered it over the years, on years when the car has not changed a bit?

        Wait for real-world numbers before anything.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I simply would not pay good money for something that ugly. That is without a doubt the homeliest thing on four wheels, makes the Honda look like a beauty queen.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Ahh, this is good. I don't want either of them, but this means there's finally some competition for the demand, which will itself increase demand a little. It also means the technology will become cheaper, which means there will be further R&D into existing technology, resulting in cheaper, lighter, more efficient Li-Ion cells; plus there will be R&D money sunk into newer technologies, for the next generation of hybrids and pure electrics (including plug-ins and H fuel cell).

      This is a good thing, you see, because it hastens the end of this stand-in technology, and answers the question, WHYbrid?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Ding-ding-ding! Finally, somebody gets it.

        The whining and macho posturing this car provokes is not only tiresome, but incredibly misplaced. These cars--and the R&D advances and supplier bases they're building up--are the reason you'll be able to drive your $40K, 4-seconds-to-60, zero-emissions sports car after a four-hour plug charge in 20 years.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'll match the $100 if AUTOblog never makes another post about trucks or anything built on a truck chassis.
        • 5 Years Ago
        That's "shed-on-a-sled" mate.
        • 5 Years Ago
        You just ruled out half the Toyotas and 80% of the BMW line-up.

        What? Too soon?
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'll give $100 to autoblog to delete all the whiny Truck and SUV haters that post here...
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