• Jan 9, 2010
2010 Toyota Prius – Click above for high-res image gallery

Not surprising in the least. Perhaps you can guess. We'll give you a hint: It rhymes with pious. Yes, that's right. The best-selling new car in Japan for 2009 is none other than the Toyota Prius. By way of comparison, the Toyota Prius was the 16th best-selling vehicle here in the United States last year (see the entire U.S. top 20 here).

Like numbers? Here you go: Toyota managed to sell 208,876 Prius hybrids in Japan in 2009, setting a new record – a whopping 300-percent improvement over 2008 – and putting that nameplate well ahead of the second-place finisher, the Honda Fit, which sold 157,324 units. Coming in at number five was the Prius' hybrid competitor, the Honda Insight, with 93,283 sales.

A slew of government-sponsored tax breaks and incentives, coupled with highly-taxed and expensive gasoline helped boost sales of fuel efficient vehicles in Japan. Keep in mind that this particular list doesn't include Kei cars, the mini-mobiles powered by tiny 660cc turbocharged engines that also happen to be highly fuel efficient.



[Source: Nikkei – Sub. Req'd via The Truth About Cars]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 10 Comments
      • 33 Minutes Ago
      Rhymes with pious? Pie-Us. Pree-Us. You;ll never win the poetry slam.
        • 33 Minutes Ago
        If you pronounce it Pry-us...
        • 33 Minutes Ago
        free -us , its one step along the way to freedom from petroleum slavery !
      • 5 Years Ago
      I still wish Kei cars where in Canada I would love to own/drive the suzuki cappuccino talk about a car that would be an awesome drive!
      • 33 Minutes Ago
      Thats also mean as you go a few years down the line there are a lot of vehicles on the road which could benefit from a plug in upgrade
      • 33 Minutes Ago
      Good news: 2 out of the top 3 best selling vehicles are American made.

      Bad news: both of them are full sized pickup trucks (#1 is Ford F-150, #3 is Chevy Silverado).

      Americans have such short memories.
        • 33 Minutes Ago
        @ downtoearth:

        Don't overlook this part: "A slew of government-sponsored tax breaks and incentives, coupled with highly-taxed and expensive gasoline helped boost sales of fuel efficient vehicles"
        • 33 Minutes Ago
        TheTom :

        > Good news: 2 out of the top 3 best selling vehicles are American made.
        > Bad news: both of them are full sized pickup trucks (#1 is Ford F-150, #3 is Chevy
        > Silverado).
        > Americans have such short memories.

        Stop mumbling. Pick-ups are there because they are workhorses, used to haul and move things about on rough roads. You won't do this in a small hatchback.

        Notice the is NO BIG SUV IN TOP 10 MOST PURCHASED CARS.

        This is massive improvement. Camrys, Accords, Fusions, Corollas, Civics and small crossovers like RAV4s and CRVs are all relatively efficient. At the same time, Suburbans, Explorers and all this fuel guzzlery is dead in the water.


        And Toyota Prius? Well, it does everything. It's:
        - spacious,
        - bulletproof reliable (topped JDPower reliability rating),
        - safe (got IIHS Top Safety Pick) practical,
        - can haul family,
        - has fair power (140HP) and decent in-gear pull due to electric assist,
        - handles well, (especially with bigger wheels and quicker steering),
        - is very light,
        - has sleek, XXI century styling

        ... and on top of that it does real life 50 mpg US. No car of this size and performance can match this. Heck, almost no car at all can match this. Tiniest diesels, like 45HP Smart are in this area.

        Then, if you consider that gasoline requires 12% crude oil to produce less that diesel, Prius is simply the most efficient widely available car in the world now.

        No wonder Japanese buy it. They have one of the highest IQ among all nations. A research some time ago proved Toyota Prius buyers also tend to be better educated than others.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IQ_and_the_Wealth_of_Nations
      • 5 Years Ago
      Great news from the Detroit Auto Show! Toyota’s cheaper hybrid can’t come soon enough! The Toyota FT-CH is a great addition to the Prius family: smaller, more efficient, and cheaper!

      If you’re interested in fuel cells, hybrid cars, or any other green technologies, check out http://www.greencollareconomy.com. It has hundreds of case studies on emerging green tech and the largest b2b green directory on the web.
      • 5 Years Ago
      RINO REVOLT

      - Every time there's a Terrorist Attack raise the Gas Tax One Quarter!
      - Why is Osama a CIA problem? He should be a Saudi Secret Police Problem. Let's Give the Saudi's the INCENTIVE they need to Capture this guy and Kill Off Al Qaeda!
      - Let's stop Kissing the Oil Industry's...