Now if only someone could turn social-media mentions into cold, hard cash. That's what the folks at Toyota may be saying after a report revealed that the Prius gets the most media dollar value – by far – out of any hybrid or plug-in vehicle from social media networks, according to Automotive News, which cites a study from social analytics company GenSent Insights.

The Prius received $15.5 million in "total media value" through the first four months of the year, trampling the second-place Honda Fit EV's $4.5 million. Those models were followed by the Chevrolet Volt, Tesla Model S and Honda Insight, each of which generated about $3 million worth of social-media value through April.

The report tracked model mentions via sources such as Facebook, YouTube and Google, and found that the Prius, the world's best-selling hybrid, had more Twitter mentions than the next nine most-mentioned green-car models combined. Factoring positive or not-so-positive social-media "sentiment," the Nissan Leaf came out on top, followed by the Fit and then the Prius

Of course, chatter doesn't always translate into moving cars out the door. Through April, US Prius sales across all variants were down 12 percent from a year earlier, down to almost 76,000 units.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 13 Comments
      Levine Levine
      • 19 Hours Ago
      Meanwhile, the Honda Insight with the inferior IMA is a piece of junk begging for attention.
      throwback
      • 19 Hours Ago
      Not a Prius fan, but the hatchback is now going on 5 years old. That would explain the declining sales numbers. That and the glut of good mpg mid-size cars, including the Camry hybrid.
        gpmp
        • 19 Hours Ago
        @throwback
        Agreed. The Prius has an iconic look that has served it well, even though it wasn't/isn't acceptable to many buyers. With the increasing number of real competitors it's time to move beyond it.
      • 19 Hours Ago
      The Prius sells because it gets 50 mpg for around $22K. There are still no other vehicles in that category, so I'm not sure what vehicles you guys are talking about. Prius sales will increase as gas prices increase, or vice versa, as they have all along. The people who aren't "fans" for whatever reason, or those who think that Prius sales are based on its "look" are irrelevant to these trends. Neither of you would have ever bought one.
      Spec
      • 19 Hours Ago
      "The Prius sells because it gets 50 mpg for around $22K. There are still no other vehicles in that category," Ah . . . but all the new inexpensive EVs are now in that category . . . but get better mileage. The Leaf, the Mitsubishi-i, the Fiat 500e, the Chevy Spark, etc. They are all around the ~$22K price when tax-credits are counted and get much better mileage.
      SpeedyRacer
      • 19 Hours Ago
      It seems Prius gets the most mentions, but not necessarily the most love. No surprise given the number of them on the road. The Nissan LEAF appears to get the most love "Factoring positive or not-so-positive social-media "sentiment," the Nissan Leaf came out on top"..
      throwback
      • 19 Hours Ago
      Yes the Prius gets 50 mpg but most Americans prefer sedans, especially mid size sedans. Toyota has a 2 year old Camry that with incentives costs less than a Prius and gets good enough (no not 50mpg) gas mileage. So buyers tend to go with what prefer. Add to that the Fusion, Accord, Altima, Sonata, Optima, Malibu and the Passat and you have a lot of competition for those 22K dollars. All in a body style that sells more than any other car body style in the USA. All o these cars get good to very good mileage which if you are coming out of a 18 mpg vehicle is a solid increase in mpg.
      • 19 Hours Ago
      Also the design of the car was never for an iconic, it was for aerodynamics. If not, they would have "moved beyond it" a long time ago, or never done it in the first place, since the general consensus is that it doesn't look very cool.
      carney373
      • 19 Hours Ago
      If it doesn't plug in, or can't run on alternative fuel (petro-diesel does NOT count), it's not green and not relevant.
      Vlad
      • 19 Hours Ago
      I don't think anyone ever planned on the aerodynamic design of the Prius to become iconic, but it happened anyways. It really is an icon now. I, for one, never liked the looks of older Prii, but I do find the last generation aesthetically pleasing. That includes V and C. As for sales a) lots more competition. Maybe not quite the same mpg numbers, but still a lot of choices for those wishing to spend less on gas b) Prius used to be THE car for an environmentally conscious, slightly affluent buyer. Heck, even really affluent bought it. It is not so anymore. EVs are the bleeding edge now, and PHEVs capture those wishing to play it safe.
      Spec
      • 19 Hours Ago
      I guess I'm the hipster of green cars. I was into hybrids 7 years ago . . . that is so old-school now. Get something with a plug.
        EZEE
        • 19 Hours Ago
        @Spec
        The proper way to say it would be, 'I was into hybrids before green was cool.' (While wearing thick glasses, an annoying beard, and just being annoying). :-) What was the best mileage you ever got?
      gpmp
      • 19 Hours Ago
      @cshepguy Clearly the driving force behind the design was the aerodynamics, but that design has also clearly become iconic. "Neither of you would have ever bought one" I'm not sure where that comes from, I bought a Prius 'C' a year ago.
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