Despite quake-related shortages, Toyota remains optimistic that, by year's end, Prius sales in the U.S. will eclipse the mark set in 2010.

Prior to the quake, Toyota targeted Prius sales in excess of 181,221 here in the States. After the devastation was examined, Toyota declared that level may be out of reach, but Donald Esmond, Toyota's senior vice-president for U.S. sales, sees sales exceeding 140,298 (the total number of Prius sales in the U.S. in 2010) by the end of 2011.

To hit that mark, Toyota will need to ship some 75,000 Prius hybrids to the U.S. by year's end. As of June 30th, Toyota reported year-to-date Prius sales of 66,520 units.

Availability seems to be the issue. According to Truecar.com, the Prius is the "least available of any mass-produced vehicle." Jesse Toprak, an automotive industry analyst, says the current backlog for the Prius in some parts of the U.S. stands at three months. Fortunately, Toyota says that production of the Prius is "coming back quicker" than expected.

We'll monitor the situation and do our best to keep you up to date.

[Source: Automotive News – sub. req.]


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