With the first year of this decade only a month behind us, Toyota is, according to a report from Bloomberg, ready to make sales predictions for the year 2020. The automaker is apparently confident that the Prius will continue to hold its spot as Japan's best-selling model. However, Fumikazu Kitagawa of Nomura Research Institute seems to think that the Prius' exceptional sales volume may drive Toyota to drop its price.
Kitagawa claims Japanese car buyers consider the mainstream Prius as a "friendly" model and not a "leading edge" vehicle. This "friendly" image pits the Prius in direct competition with vehicles such as the bargain-priced, subcompact Honda Fit. Kitagawa, who polled 1,972 Japanese car owners, explains the situation like this, "As the Prius becomes more of a mass-market car, it may be time to think about lowering the price."
Volume sellers like the gas-electric Prius are not often sought by tech-savvy Japanese buyers. Now that it's a mainstream model, Kitigawa argues, the Prius' cutting-edge appeal, which commanded a premium price, has faded away.
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