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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Japanese Demand for the Prius Continues

For the sixth months straight the Toyota Prius has been the #1 selling car in Japan. Like the U.S. Cash for Clunkers program, Japan has been offering tax breaks and government subsidies for the purchase of environmentally friendly vehicles. This increase in demand has boosted Toyota’s profits after three consecutive losing quarters.

With numerous green vehicles on the market, what is it that makes the Toyota Prius so enticing to Japanese car buyers?

  • Efficiency – The Toyota Prius gets up to 51 mpg. Gas prices in Japan may be at a 4 year low, but they still average over $4.00 USD a gallon.
  • Pricing – Fighting to compete with the Honda Insight, Toyota has lowered Prius prices in Japan to around $19,000. Slightly less than the still affordable U.S. starting price of $22,400.
  • Reliability – Long known for dependability, Toyota scored the highest in vehicle satisfaction for reliability in recent AutoPacific and IntelliChoice studies.
  • Safety – The IIHS awarded the 2009 Prius top scores of “Good” on all tests.

As hybrid interest in the U.S. continues to heat up, it will be interesting to see if American car buyers follow suit. Do you have a favorite hybrid? If so why?