2012 was a good year for the Toyota Prius line, the hybrid that started it all moving 236,659 units, being the best-selling model in California for the year and the Prius C (pictured) being deemed the most reliable car of 2012 by Consumer Reports. Then 2013 happened, and gas prices dropped more than expected, and people haven't been buying the little hybrids like they used to.

A report in Bloomberg says Toyota set 250,000 units as the Prius family's sales target for this year, but hits like the double-digit drop in year-on-year performance in February have helped lower 2013 sales by 8.4 percent compared to 2012, making the objective "a challenge" to reach. The declines in Prius sales come even as hybrid sales overall were up in the first couple of months this year, including sales of other Toyota and Lexus hybrids. Jim Lentz, Toyota's North American chief, said the Prius target would be adjusted if necessary.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 97 Comments
      ferps
      • 1 Year Ago
      The hybrid and alternative fuel market has become much more competitive. More efficient cars like the Volt and the Leaf now sell in the tens of thousands per year. It's not unlikely that the people who bought these cars would have been Prius buyers in the past.
      MELANIE
      • 1 Year Ago
      I have a Kia Optima hybrid. Pretty car but lousy mileage Kia claims they miscalculated a tad. Ha if I am lucky I get 32 mpg. I drive my dad in his old 2006 Prius. I never get less than 42 mpg. It may be a very ugly car and it is, but I prefer it over my kia. I have had my Optima in the shop 4 times for problems that took them awhile to find and still haven't solved them all I regret I bought it
      bullitt2605
      • 1 Year Ago
      I think there are just more choices now and most of them may not equal the Prius MPG but they are a better drive in every other way.
      Mazdaspeed6
      • 1 Year Ago
      A hybrid voted most reliable car? I'm no fanboi, but toyota truly is special. Many car manufacturers who will go unnamed can't even put together a reliable engine/transmission or electronic systems. Yet look at what Toyota has done with their complex hybrid technology. Thank you Toyota for pushing other automakers to be better and its obvious why you have such die hard followers.
        Wm
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Mazdaspeed6
        I agree it is amazing, but true. I drive a Prius and my wife drives a GM. While my car is far more reliable, what surprises my is that most of her reliability issues are not with the engine. It many things like power door locks, power steering, keyless entry, wheel bearings. The Prius engine is more refined, smoother and quieter, particularly at low speeds, but neither engine has been a problem. We are letting her car go since we know people who had transmission problems with similar models at only a little higher mileage than ours. We wont' be getting another one. So far we've not known a Prius owner with any problems, nor have we had any ourselves.
      zepeda1
      • 1 Year Ago
      the fact that it looks like a turd, an orange one in this case, certainly doesn\'t help.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      desinerd1
      • 1 Year Ago
      Toyota still sells more hybrids than all other manufacturers combined. Ford, Honda and CrapWagen don't even come close to that number.
        Mondrell
        • 1 Year Ago
        @desinerd1
        Save for Honda, every else\'s (very valid) excuse is that they only started doing so within the past five years.
        Hello, Brian
        • 1 Year Ago
        @desinerd1
        ...and one day you will grow up and won\'t be a troll....
        jlauth
        • 1 Year Ago
        @desinerd1
        Thats kinda like being the smartest of the special kids right?
      Spec
      • 1 Year Ago
      They've probably been hit on all three sides: 1) Morons who went back to buying gas guzzlers because the price of gas dropped a little (they are probably going to regret that decision in a few years). 2) People buying competing hybrids. Ford, Hyundai, and others are now providing some decent hybrids. It is nice to see others providing nice hybrids other than Toyota. 3) The 'tip of the spear' people moving to pure electrics and PHEVs like the Leaf, Tesla, Volt, Energi, etc.
        throwback
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Spec
        My guess is few people bought "gas guzzlers". Mre likely they bought 4 cyl Camrys, Accords, Fusions, Altimas and Sonatas. All those cars get good to very good gas mileage, are generally cheaper, ride better, drive better and are sedans. We love sedans in the USA.
      styxmiko
      • 1 Year Ago
      the earth called...they are running out of DORKS!!!!
      kuntknife
      • 1 Year Ago
      Simple, drop a V10 in the Prius C and watch the sales numbers increase.
      Judyz
      • 1 Year Ago
      My husband recently bought a current Generation Prius. I think there are a few things that have held it back from the kind of mass adoption rates you would expect. 1) Price. There is simply no avoiding the fact that these cars remain over priced. There is no way buying a Prius saves you money unless gas goes through the roof. 2) Interior quality. At 30,000 plus people expect soft touch plastics and fabrics that will not look worn at 30,000kms. To make matters worse the Interior surfaces are notoriously easy to scratch. The level of decontenting is obvious. You could be driving a entry level luxury vehicle for this price. 3) Toyota has made some glaringly bad ergonomic choices. The passenger gets to stare at a big orange annoying "Air Bag On" light. The steering wheel doesn't telescope as much as it should and the heated seat button is under the console and almost by your feet. Those things aside I love the Prius. It's fun to drive in a new way. It is like the smart phone/space ship of new cars. It wont take corners in a way that will put a smile on your face but it will give you the freedom to just go for a drive again. With the current price of gas any other vehicle we bought would have spent more time sitting in the driveway. Gas prices are no longer cramping our style or keeping us from enjoying our weekend road trips. It is a surprisingly good road trip vehicle.
      anonymous guy
      • 1 Year Ago
      I really wish Toyota would build a two door commuter. I'd buy the Prius C in a heartbeat if it didn't have five doors. I like the ease of ingress/egress in a two/three door vehicle. I don't need the extra doors because I'm not going to be hauling around passengers in this vehicle. The CR-Z has the right idea but it doesn't have the fuel mileage numbers I'd like to see.
        The Wasp
        • 1 Year Ago
        @anonymous guy
        I agree. It's no secret that a huge number of drivers don't regularly carry more than 1-2 people and eliminating the rear doors, back seat and extra size/weight would easily increase fuel efficiency.
          PeterScott
          • 1 Year Ago
          @The Wasp
          You are both in luck. Honda built a 2-door Hybrid just for you, and the dozens of other people that want one. See Honda CR-Z.
        Donny Hoover
        • 1 Year Ago
        @anonymous guy
        The CR-Z is so much simpler and in theory, should be cheaper to build. The fuel economy isn't quite as good but look how much cheaper a new Insight with the same system is to buy than a Prius. There's a strong case to be made for almost-as-good fuel economy and a much cheaper MSRP, and I'm surprised the Insight hasn't caught on more. This is something the CR-Z doesn't benefit from because it is grossly overpriced for what it is.
          anonymous guy
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Donny Hoover
          There is a big difference between the system of a Toyota hybrid and a Honda Hybrid. The Toyota's propulsion systems can work independent of one another where the Honda system works together only.
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