• May 16, 2009
2010 Toyota Prius: Click above for the high res gallery

Toyota finally has some real hybrid competition with the new Honda Insight, but 2010 Prius orders show that the darling of the green movement is more than game in the battle for hybrid supremacy. The Japanese Nikkei Business Daily reports that Toyota already has 75,000 orders in the books; a number far greater than the 40,000 units the Japanese automaker expected. Toyota has already lowered the price of the Prius to combat the Insight's $19,180 price of entry, and early Insight sales figures show that is likely a wise move. Honda's newest hybrid sold 10,481 units in April, making it the first hybrid to ever top the Japanese sales chart.

The Prius' pre-sale success is a welcome bit of good news for Toyota. The automaker lost $7.7 billion last quarter, and the perennially successful operation expects to lose $8.6 billion in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2010. Toyota is also replacing 40% of its executive ranks as company scion Akio Toyoda takes over the company next month. The Prius goes on sale in Japan on May 18.




[Source: Reuters]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 36 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      A lower price!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Some competition !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Wonder how the previous buyers feel getting screwed.

      OH, I forgot. It makes no diff because they bought a product from the "Perfect Company" that would never OVER CHARGE FOR THEIR PRODUCT.

      That is only if they had no competition.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Hey Harrison,

        Prices do go up each year based on material costs, labor, regulations and new features.

        BUT, Toyota reduced their price because of competition.

        Your comment sounds like you are one of those that 'PAID THE PREMIUM FOR A TOYOTA"

        OH, by the way, I drive a 2008 Malibu
        • 5 Years Ago
        Wait. If that was the case, why did you buy whatever the hell you drive, anyway? It's probably more expensive than it's predecessor. You're getting ripped off, right?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Then Toyota played their cards right.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Sounds like we need to open an insane asylum. . . with about 75,000 rooms.
        JDM Life
        • 5 Years Ago
        Or...we could just open one for you. =P
        • 5 Years Ago
        "Sounds like we need to open an insane asylum. . . with about 75,000 rooms."

        Oh come now... surely you'd rather have the 4/5ths of our population that doesn't care at all about cars (besides 1. if they're comfortable and 2. what they say about the owner) driving Priuses instead of Tacomas, 4Runners, and Sequoias, as they have for the last decade. They're easy to see over, can go the posted speed through turns, and don't take up two parking spots :-)
      • 5 Years Ago
      The Chevy Volt can't get here fast enough. Ford has it's Fusion Hybrid as its salvo into the gas/electric wars, and both Toyota and Honda have just upgraded theirs.

      Yeah, yeah, yeah, bailout, dealer shutdowns, shuttering brands, staring down bankruptcy...you aren't dead yet, and you need something more significant than the mild hybrids you've stuck on trucks and SUVs. Come on GM!

        • 5 Years Ago
        Toyota can suck it. :-)
        • 5 Years Ago
        The SUVs are not just mild hybrids. The large ones are two-mode.

        Also note the Honda Insight is a mild hybrid and yet it seems to be poised to be very successful.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Ok. before posting Toyota issues, post and see how bad it is with other makes.....


        enough said.
        • 5 Years Ago
        In hybrid mode, I don't think the Volt will match the Prius on mpg. However, with the plug-in capability added, it could easily exceed the Priug mpg day to day.

        Given that the Volt engine can turn on and off as necessary (varying duty cycle), I don't think the high displacement of the motor is an issue. As long as it runs at its most efficient level while it is on and shuts off then the battery is charged, it should be as fuel efficient as a smaller engine would be. It is a bit heavier though.

        For example if the engine kicks on when the battery is at 30% and runs 20 mins to charge it to 80%, it will use about as much fuel as if a half-sized engine kicked in at 30% and ran 40 mins to charge it to 80%.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "will last 10-20 years like every Toyota...."


        You mean like these 3.5 million cars?

        http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2007/01/toyota_sludge_settlement.html
        • 5 Years Ago
        Unfortunately, given GM's brand problems, I think it's already too late.

        In the consumer's eye, the Volt 2 years from now is just going to look like a Prius/Insight clone, only without the 10-year track record of reliability and strong branding of the Prius. Oh, and it's slated to cost $10-20K more.

        Even if it's a series hybrid, Volt is still packing a 1.4L engine, which is big enough for a regular family car in Europe! With that, plus the extra battery weight, it's going to be roughly comparable MPG-wise in mixed driving to Prius and Insight, and "real-life" MPG is the big yardstick in this sector, even if GM/Obama get the EPA to put the goosed "pre-charged battery 40-mile test cycle" 100 MPG number on Volt's sticker. True, Volt appeals to the plug-in zealots, but that's a much smaller specialty market than the mass-market car the Prius has become, and there are already Prius plug-in conversions and (in two years) iMiev and other, cheaper competitors in that space.

        Now ... that's Volt as a product, Volt as a tech platform is a different story. If GM weathers the storm and Malibu, Cruze and Camaro all sell, while battery prices keep dropping, GM could be in a good spot in 4 years with series hybrids from a Cadillac/Volt variant down to a compact with an actually appropriately small ICE (i.e. < 1L) hybrid that really gets 60-90 MPG. But that's OT, back to Prius.

        The Prius is still ugly, but personally I think the new model is a huge improvement, and with the roof hump moved back the profile is a lot nicer, a bit like the Ford Fiesta everyone seems to like. Styling-wise I'd say 2010 Prius > Insight > 2009 Prius.

        Road tests seem to mostly be concluding that Prius has a more solid, cocooned cabin, more like a Camry or Lexus where the Honda rides more like a Fit. Personally I prefer the latter, but I would have to think the Prius is more what the typical American sedan buyer wants. That, compared with Prius' huge brand advantage in the U.S., means I think Prius will do *very* well in the U.S. vs. the Insight, compared to the JDM where Insight busted out and scared Toyota. Of course ... Honda will sell a lot of Insights here, too.

        All the Prius owners I know are people my parents' (retired) age who have extra cash, like a cushy car with room for 4 and luggage space for road trips, and really like that it is 50-60 MPG, will last 10-20 years like every Toyota, and thereby be about the best car choice environment-wise as well. They're over themselves and don't care that it looks like a bubble, and maybe that even reminds them of a 1960s spaceship. Prius has already created a mass market out of nothing, and they are only going to sell a lot more of these things.
        • 5 Years Ago
        There is no need to post about other makes because nobody will STFU about it while they're praising Toyota and ignoring Toyota's numerous issues. Now, nuff said.
      JDM Life
      • 5 Years Ago
      Sweet.


      This thing is gonna sale throw the roof ! They made a already good thing, better in everyway. Something Toyota is very good at.


      Gonna see these running around New York very soon.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @JDM Life
        sell not sale, and its through the roof......I hope you learn better grammar by the time your old enough to drive.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @JDM Life
        it's not its
        you're not your
        • 5 Years Ago
        @JDM Life
        Also, you don't have to put extra lines in your posts just to make them bigger. IT doesn't make anything you have to say appear more important.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @JDM Life
        Come on guys, he's just being JDM, y0!1~
      • 5 Years Ago
      LS2 bent Andy of his knee and spanked him hard. Andy, are you going to be ok?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Clarification: looks like another comment beat mine. I was agreeing Jrejre, not the person above me.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Prius is the ugliest car in the last 100 years.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Everyone has probably been waiting for the 3rd generation Prius, so there probably is some pent-up demand.

      In regard to Toyota "lowering the price" . . . you should go configure one at Toyota.com.

      For a 2010 Toyota Prius IV with Nav, your looking at $28,250, which is more expensive than 2009.

      Toyota planning folks also did some pretty substantial de-contenting compared to 2009. For example, no HID headlights. LED is available on a Prius V (the highest level Prius) but then you have to spend $4,000 more.

      One of the problems with Toyota is that you can feel the de-contenting (that every manufacturer does to cut costs from generation to generation). But the goal of a good cost cutting is to eliminate costs the consumer doesn't see.

      Just another example of Toyota losing its value proposition.

      • 5 Years Ago
      Are speculators finally moving away from Ferraris?
        • 5 Years Ago
        It'd be rather dumb to speculate on this vehicle. Toyota is geared up to produce a lot of them, so there will not be a shortage for very long.
      • 5 Years Ago
      2010 projected loss of 8.6 billion? They were projecting a 5.5 billion loss in FY 2010 just over a week ago. What's 3.1 billion among friends?
      • 5 Years Ago
      blech. IMHO, further proof people don't like fun cars.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Then Toyota played their cards right.
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