California Toyota dealers may or may not be running out of Priuses, but the hybrid is most certainly still popular. How else to explain the news that one million of the iconic fuel-mizers have been sold in the U.S., as Toyota just announced.
Back in mid-2008, the company said it had sold one million Priuses around the world, which was a big enough deal. To reach that landmark, it took around five years; the first Prius was introduced over a decade ago, but it was the second-generation Prius, introduced in 2003, that really sparked sales. It took Toyota only two more years to sell another million Priuses, and Toyota has sold over three million total hybrids as of October 2010. That sounds impressive, but Charlie Sheen got 3.4 million followers on Twitter in, like, a minute, so let's keep things in perspective.
Photos copyright ©2011 Drew Phillips / AOL
TORRANCE, Calif., April 5, 2011 – Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc., today announced the one-millionth sale of the Toyota Prius, the world's first mass-produced hybrid gas-electric vehicle, in the United States. It is the third milestone for Toyota's hybrid lineup in the last six months that started with the announcement of worldwide Toyota Prius sales topping two million in October 2010 and overall global Toyota hybrid sales passing three million last month.
"Since the Prius went on sale eleven years ago not a year has gone by when it hasn't been the number one selling hybrid vehicle in the U.S," said Bob Carter, Toyota Division group vice president and general manager. "Prius has become synonymous with the word hybrid and as we see fuel prices starting to rise again, it has accounted for more than 60 percent of hybrid passenger car sales so far this year. Prius paved the way for hybrids and while it is still the hybrid leader in sales and fuel economy, I'm proud to say that since its introduction, 13 other auto brands have seen the benefits of hybrid technology and joined the hybrid market."
The third-generation Prius topped the EPA's list of the Most Fuel Efficient Vehicles for 2011. It has been named the Best Overall Value of the Year for the last nine years in a row by IntelliChoice, and has the highest owner loyalty of any mid-size vehicle for four of the last five years according to R.L. Polk. More than 97 percent of all Toyota Prii sold since 2000 are still on the road.
Since it was introduced in the U.S. in 2000, Prius, when compared to the average car, has saved American consumers more than an estimated 881 million gallons of gas, $2.19 billion in fuel costs, and 12.4 million tons of CO2 emissions.
In January 2011 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Toyota debuted the Prius v, the first vehicle to be debuted as part of the Prius family marketing strategy. Prius v, which goes on sale in third quarter of 2011, is a mid-size vehicle that provides more than 50 percent additional interior cargo space than the current Prius. In early 2012 Prius will launch two more Prius family members – the Prius c compact hybrid vehicle and the Prius Plug-in Hybrid vehicle.