A return to the 'plus' column? That's what happened last month to Toyota with its Prius line of hybrids, as the Japanese automaker boosted year-over year sales of the model.

Toyota sold 23,522 Prius vehicles, up 9.5 percent from a year earlier. Sales of the standard hatchback Prius jumped 17 percent from a year earlier, while Prius C and Prius V sales rose 2 percent each. Toyota is also planning to unveil a new advertising campaign for the Prius this month.

Through April, sales among the Prius's hatchback, plug-in, compact and wagon variants had been down 12 percent from a year earlier to almost 76,000 units, as Toyota's faced increased hybrid and plug-in competition from automakers such as Ford, General Motors and Hyundai. With May in the books, year-to-date Prius sales are down 7.8 percent from May 2012 figures to a total of 99,135 vehicles. We'll have our monthly green car sales recap up momentarily.

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