Some of the wonks at Automotive News have been keeping rigid track of the sales and pricing of Toyota's hybrid sedan, the Prius. With new sales slumping 3.3 percent, compared to year-to-date figures for 2005, and prices beginning to creep back down towards actual MSRP, this could be the market correction many have foreseen.
What was particularly interesting was what used Prius' (Pri-i?) were going for across the country. Through a series of eBay searches, Automotive News found that the majority of 2004 through 2005 models were selling between $15k and $20k, while the first generation models (2000-2003) never broke the $10,000 mark.
As many people never purchase new cars, the market for a used Prius will continue to grow, but the question for any prospective buyer is whether or not they will be able to foot the bill if something goes awry. Most concerns center around the longevity of the hybrid's battery pack, which will retail for an estimated $4,000. That, coupled with the complexity of the electric motors, regenerative braking system and all the support devices, may prove to be a gamble for owners seeking fewer trips to their local gas pump.
[Source: Automotive News – Sub. Req.]