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We've heard the Toyota Prius jokingly called the State Bird of California, but recent sales data shows that the world's most popular hybrid is, in fact, the best-selling car in the state. Well, the best-selling vehicle line, at least, since the Prius now comes in four variants.

If you add up sales of the Prius Liftback (aka, the regular Prius), the C, V and Plug-In models, you get 46,380 units for the first three quarters of 2012, according to numbers from the California New Car Dealers Association and reported by Bloomberg. That's enough to move the Prius from fourth place last year to first this year in the sales rankings in America's most populous state. In fact, roughly a quarter of the Priuses that Toyota sold in the US were in California. Reports of $5 gallons of gas are relatively recent, but we have to assume that the state's long-time high gas prices are playing a role in pushing the Prius to the pinnacle there. Nationwide, Bloomberg says, the Prius is in seventh place ("by sales volume among car models").

The Prius is already the best-selling car in Japan, and has been for years, even though the Honda Fit has been nipping at its heals. Worldwide, the Prius family was the third best-selling nameplate in the first quarter of 2012, behind the Toyota Corolla and the Ford Focus.

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