It New Toyota Prius is one of the most transformational redesigns in recent automotive history. In one year, it went from one of the ugliest cars sold to one of the most slick looking Toyotas ever. This stunning new model is also more efficient, orders of magnitude better to ride, an astonishing value, and already attracts interest from a younger and wider audience. Dealers are already talking about five-figure markups. Toyota, however, still doesn’t expect much sales growth.
Toyota US Vice President of Marketing Lisa Materazzo said Roads & Tracks that the company expects annual sales of around 35,000 units for the standard non-Prime Prius. That’s an increase from the last full year’s figure, but only slightly. Toyota sold 33,968 Prius hybrids in 2021, despite the product’s age and Toyota’s sizeable supply chain constraints. With fears of perpetually high long-term gas prices, fears of a recession, and a much more attractive product, the time seemed right for a Prius revival. An increase of 1000 units during one of the marque’s worst years in history sounds very conservative. That’s especially true when you look at the Prius’ two best years, 2012 and 2013, both of which saw a high of 230,000 units sold.
“There is definitely an increase from the estimated 35,000 we have, and we will do everything we can if there is demand,” Materazzo said. R&T.
The figure, then, is not the result of expected supply issues, but rather a real look at the market.
“We don’t have a crystal ball, so it’s hard to say what supply chain disruptions we could experience in the short term… We’ve been dealing with it for a while and we’ll continue to work through it. I do think it makes sense that there could be upside potential, but at eventually the market will decide that.”
Even in the best-case scenario, Toyota doesn’t expect to come anywhere near the top number for sales of the Prius. While stronger-than-expected demand could materialize—and the reported dealer markup for first allocations indicates that—the six-figure sales volumes of the 2005–2017 era are likely to be lost for good.
“I think it’s important to remember that we have a lot more hybrid and electric vehicles in our lineup. So there’s a lot more choice for buyers than in 2011, with regards to those sales plans,” Materazzo said.
Back then, customers looking for a fuel-efficient hybrid were mostly stuck with Camry or Prius. Right now, they can get their hands on the RAV4 Hybrid, RAV4 Prime, Prius Prime, Tundra hybrid, or the all-electric BZ4x. A cake cut into many pieces leaves little room for sales that are so prominent. Add in an astounding number of hybrid, plug-in, and battery-electric options from the competition—hardly any in 2012—and it’s hard to see how any hybrid can recapture the success of the second- and third-generation Prius’ chart-topping Prius. .
The fantastic design and newfound focus on performance are both huge improvements, but even Toyota knows it won’t be enough to change the way the wind blows.
This content is imported from OpenWeb. You may be able to find the same content in other formats, or you may be able to find more information on their website.