By on March 16, 2012

Toyota is getting frisky. Per a press release, Toyota U.S.A. reports brisk sales of the game-changing Prius c compact hybrid. Then, TMS goes on to say that “In its first three days on the market, it sold 1,201 units, making it one Toyota’s fastest-selling vehicles and eclipsing Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf sales for the entire month of February.”

This is highly unusual for the usually very careful and buttoned-up company. Even in private talks and after five Asahi Super Dry, you never hear anything negative about a competitor from a Toyota-san, or, for that matter, anything at all.

The comment that the Priuc c sold more cars in three days than the Volt in a month is most likely a subtle ribbing in the direction of Detroit. There, GM CEO Dan Akerson had claimed that “Toyota sold about the same amount of Prius in its first year as the Volt in its first year.”

The original Toyota Prius was launched in Japan in December 1997. In its first year, the Prius sold some 18,000 cars. The Chevrolet Volt was launched in the U.S. in December 2010. In its first year, the Chevrolet Volt had sold some 8,000 cars. That would be less than half of what the Prius sold in 1998.

After we had pointed out that small discrepancy, a vociferous posse of Akerson apologists appeared, claiming that their CEO had referred to the U.S. introduction of the Prius. Too bad that they had not checked those data either: In the U.S., the first recorded sales month of the Prius was July 2000. Sales Prius U.S. July 2000 through June 2001: 12,968, data according to Automotive News.

Any which way you spin it, Akerson was wrong. Not in the eyes of his trusted acolytes: Some claim to this day that 8,000 is more that 18,000 or 13,000. The new math must be contagious.

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84 Comments on “Toyota Roasts GM: More Prius c Sold In Three Days Than Volts In A Month...”


  • avatar
    djsyndrome

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v313/djSyndrome/Prius_c_KILLER_SAVINGS_YO.gif

    I’ll just leave this here.

  • avatar
    jhott997

    Go get ‘em Bertel! I love this!
    I can’t wait to read what the GM apologists have to say about this.
    A bunch of “yeah buts…” I have no doubt.

    Also, you must understand, if you work for or with GM in any capacity you quickly learn that you can make any number mean anything you want it to mean. So, yes, 8,000 is in fact more than 13,000. I have a powerpoint slide that will prove it. It is also very important to argue about intent and meaning, you know, all the critically important subjective metrics of analysis.

  • avatar
    OneidaSteve

    I am not a GM apologist, but I do believe this says alot more about the public’s appetite for an affordable, effective hybrid than an expensive….anything else.

    I am seeing lease deals on Prius right now that are very attractive – $250 or so a month with a few grand down. GM does not have a 50 mpg car right now; except the expensive Volt.

    The Eassist Malibu/Buick are darn good cars, and values, but they miss the prius segment. Perhaps a hybrid Sonic would be a good move?

  • avatar
    lw

    I’m confused… If you produce a product that people want and you sell it at a price that people can afford, it sells?

    • 0 avatar
      TonyJZX

      I think this is pretty much it. People will cross-shop
      “Hybrids” and they’ll make up their minds about what they can afford vs. utility

      to me the Leaf isn’t the answer. You are tethered to the cord and its still too expensive.

      Volt is just too expensive.

      The Prius C is just the most cost effective tool you can buy. Sure you can’t plug it in but many many people seem to think that doesn’t matter.

      Toyota won this round so convincingly its embarrassing for GM and Nissan and even Mitsubishi.

  • avatar
    kenzter

    The C is a $20k mini Prius; of course it is going to sell. The Prius plug-in is the only true comparison, and I’d expect it to out sell the Volt too, on name alone.

  • avatar

    Two points: 1. A Toyota Prius may consume more gasoline in 3 days than a Volt would consume in 3 months — and a LEAF E-V-E-R.

    2. You have to adjust the sales numbers by the average selling price. The ASP on a Volt is $44,000 and a Prius perhaps somewhere close to $22,000. Otherwise it’s “apples and oranges” and companies do report financial results in dollars. I mean, Mercedes doesn’t consider selling a C-class the same thing as selling an S-class.

    • 0 avatar
      GS650G

      Will a Prius C consume 20K dollars more gasoline than a Volt? Go ahead and work the numbers out and we’ll wait over here.
      Toyota built a better mousetrap and did so without energy department loans or bailouts.

      • 0 avatar
        lakeuser2002

        Why did you bring up the Energy Loans? Ford got 6.5B of those… not GM or Chrysler

      • 0 avatar
        GS650G

        Ford did, GM did, Chrysler did.

        Toyota no.

        Thats why. OK?

      • 0 avatar
        kenzter

        And Nissan, and BASF, and 3M….

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        And the Japanese governemnt basically subsidized Prius development, and put incentives so large in Japan that the $48K to build (in inflation adjusted dollars) first gen Prius was given away at a $22K (adjusted for inflation) price.

        It’s not apologies – but holding up the Prius as designed and funded not on the back of taxpaying citizens is beyond disingenious – even if those taxpayers were yellow and speak a different language. THEY still paid for it.

      • 0 avatar
        VoltOwner

        Will a Prius go 5600 miles on 1 gallon of gas?
        That’s how far my Volt has gone… See the stats at VoltStats.net, average is only 112 miles on one gallon.

        5600 miles @ 9 months, so 2 years before it’s changed probably, maybe 3. How often does your car need an oil change?

        Is there a site similar to VoltStats for the Prius? I’m asking ’cause I don’t know.

      • 0 avatar
        VoltOwner

        Can you tell us about the Japanese governments subsidies for their automakers while you’re at it? Any idea how hard it is to import a car into Japan?

        One of my coworkers from Japan was stunned at the prices for Japanese cars here, he was heard muttering “Dumping, Dumping” under his breath for hours after visiting a Honda dealer at lunchtime…

    • 0 avatar

      The bloopering GM exec did not say anything about adjustments. He compared, and spread falsehoods. That’s all it is.

    • 0 avatar

      Adjust the sales numbers by the average selling price?

      Bad move. Stand in the corner.

      You really don’t want to rub it in that the Volt is that pricey ….

      One more time: GM CEO Dan Akerson had claimed that “Toyota sold about the same amount of Prius in its first year as the Volt in its first year.”

      He didn’t say dollar amount …

      • 0 avatar

        How about the rather more important metric of profit per vehicle?

        Last time I heard, the Volt was being sold at a loss. Is that still true?

        Well, at these far lower than expected sales rates I assume it is, actually, but I had the impression that even at projected sales rates it was still far from profitable.

        D

      • 0 avatar
        dejal1

        Bertel, for yucks, how many Prius Cs did they sell in 6 days (just to keep it ‘fair’)? 6 days should even things up for people who keep score that way.

    • 0 avatar
      grzydj

      Markups on the Prius C are already happening around here.

    • 0 avatar
      DC Bruce

      Did you leave out the phases of the moon? I’m sure that had something to do with it, right?

  • avatar
    Steven02

    Still picking on GM. In the title and in the article. You mention that is also outsold the Leaf, but why pick on GM so much.

    Now granted, Akerson is wrong about the Prius. Just like your article was wrong to assume that he was talking about Japan. It is also interesting to note that the US market for the first year of the Prius was at 17 million. The US market for the first year of the Volt, 11.7 million. Market share makes it close, but I believe that the Prius did better in the US did in the Volt in its first year, but not exactly a success story for the first year of either one.

    It also isn’t like you have never made a mistake in your articles, Bertel.

    http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/03/lost-in-translation-toyota-threatens-to-sue-cnn-over-memogate/
    She wasn’t on the gas until .4 secs like you say in the article, and then accuse me of being a victim of bad reporting.

    • 0 avatar

      My friend, it is you who is making assumptions. Akerson did neither say Japan nor U.S.

      He is reported to have said:

      “Toyota sold about the same amount of Prius in its first year as the Volt in its first year.”

      The first year of the Prius was December 1997 through November 1998 in Japan.
      The first year of the Volt was December 2010 through November 2011 in the U.S.

      • 0 avatar
        Steven02

        Bertel, I don’t know if I could disagree more. I know what he said, and I think you are being disingenuous if you think he was talking about how it sold in Japan its first year. Would it make sense to compare the first year sales of a vehicle in Japan vs the year of sales of a vehicle in the US? Why not compare the first year of sales of the Prius in Brazil then (not even sure it is sold there)?

        You want to know what really makes this whole thing meaningless, it isn’t even a direct quote in the article that you reference, but the author writing what he said. Notice there are not quotes around the statement in the original article on posted.

        http://gigaom.com/cleantech/gm-plans-to-relaunch-marketing-for-electric-volt-in-a-month-or-so/

        So, it isn’t a word for word quote, but you are interpreting it as a word for word quote.

      • 0 avatar
        Toad

        Who you gonna believe, Steven02 or your lying eyes?

        Some people can rationalize anything…

  • avatar
    Chocolatedeath

    Ha Ha..he said game changer..

    Ok now seriously I do expect a car that is priced reasonably and gets great gas mileage to sell well. However does anyone here think that the Prius C will steal some sales from the original?

    • 0 avatar
      Steven02

      Absolutely it will. If people use it for commuting, the extra space won’t matter for some. If real world mileage is better, it will be a plus. But, when the EPA combined rating for both being the same, some people will choose the larger.

      My only complaint about the Prius c (on paper, I haven’t driven or seen it in person) is that it has the same combined fuel economy of the regular Prius.

  • avatar
    MrGreenMan

    Having previously made my love for internal capacity known, and having seen a Yaris and a Volt, and having driven a Yaris from the cheapest rental in Providence across all of New England, and eventually finding the light switch…

    The Prius-C, which is effectively a Yaris Hybrid (I know, I know…it’s supposed to be better and everything…), at the price point it is, would be a reasonable purchase to buy in lieu of a new car for a while, and instead keep the RWD V6 for fun, the FWD V6 for combative traffic, and the Prius-C for around town.

    The pricing on the Volt puts a whole bunch of people out of the market. I saw a toe-tag sale of a Volt at $42.6k. Assuming the government subsidy doesn’t come the following July after the following April 15th, and instead takes maybe $10k off the price at time of purchase/financing, that’s still a lot more money for not a whole lot more compelling alternative as an about-town proposition.

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      Are you insinuating that the Volt is useful only as an about town vehicle? I would beg to differ; the Volt can work as an only vehicle, at least for modest sized families.

  • avatar
    Adamatari

    Toyota has established itself as a leader in this field. Prius owners are very happy with their cars, and this reputation gets around… GM and Nissan’s vehicles are both much more radical departures from the usual car, and neither of them have a long reputation for this sort of vehicle (though both have been doing research for decades, these are really the first mass production versions of what they’ve been working on).

    Nissan is building it’s reputation right now, and has committed substantial resources to continue to build and develop the Leaf. GM put a lot into the Volt as well, but GM doesn’t have any credibility in building this type of vehicle. They are more famous for abandoning the EV1 among the crowd that should be buying the Volt.

    That said, if GM keeps developing the Volt and manages to bring down the price, they may have something really impressive in 10 years. And if they build it for 10 years, they will have more credibility. If oil prices keep rising at the same time, then it may even be more compelling than the Prius by then.

    But I will echo an above commenter – what GM really needs right now is a direct competitor with the Prius, a 50 mpg vehicle at an affordable price.

  • avatar
    NormSV650

    More newsworthy title:

    http://www.autoblog.com/2012/03/16/toyota-prius-c-outsells-monthly-total-of-chevy-volt-nissan-leaf/

    But ttac anti-GM shows it’s face again, “BS”.

    • 0 avatar
      dejal1

      The reason TTAC is anti-GM is because TTACs headline doesn’t mention the leaf.

      It is very subtle. You really have to be on your toes to see it.
      It is like Woodie Allen in “Annie Hall”. Someone says “Did you…?” and he goes nuts believing the person said “Did Jew…?” and wouldn’t let it go.

      http://www.autoguide.com
      blogs.insideline.com
      jalopnik.com
      autoblog.ca
      http://www.topix.com
      http://www.hybridcars.com

      and on and on also mention the 3 days.

      Some mention the Volt in the headline
      Some mention the Leaf + Volt in the headline.
      Some mention neither in the headline.

      But none of them are anti-GM.

      • 0 avatar
        Steven02

        I don’t read all of the other sites, but what does their behavior have to do with the behavior of TTAC? Really, nothing. The Title should be mentioning the Leaf. Read the article, and it is basically a rehash of Bertel’s incorrect article based on an exact interpretation of an inexact quote from another site.

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      Toyota offered, reasonably enough, that they are buildinga car that sells very well. That’s a minor story. A better story is that Akerson takes the bait and then gets his facts wrong, which is the story we have here. Nissan was smart enough to keep quiet, so they’re not in the story.

      Really, GM has proven that they have no clue what will actually sell in the gas-electric market; it’s pure foolishness that they demonstrate no knowledge of the facts of the market.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        At times I get the impression that GM feels it dictates the facts of the market, i.e., they tell us what we want, and we’ll buy it because they’re GM. That might have been true a few decades ago, but it certainly isn’t today.

        GM isn’t alone in this. In a conversation I had with a Ford employee about MFT, I was told that all the problems people were having with it were because they were too dumb. MFT is what we really want, and if we all just did what Ford said, it would work perfectly, and we’d all be happy as clams.

  • avatar
    icemilkcoffee

    Ha! Toyota trash-alking! Who says the japanese never learn anything from us?

  • avatar
    damikco

    Apples to pears

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    “Two points: 1. A Toyota Prius may consume more gasoline in 3 days than a Volt would consume in 3 months — and a LEAF E-V-E-R.”

    Yep!

    A pointless comparison. The Prius C has more in common with my PU truck(both are tied to a gas pump) than a Volt. Personally, you couldn’t pay me enough to drive that cheap little penalty box. I don’t care how expensive gas gets. If I want an ICE hybrid I’ll do it right and head over to the Ford lot and pick up a Fusion! At least like the Volt, I’ve got a real car wrapped around me. Versus a gutless, little cracker box lke the Prius C. But I’d much rather burn electrons in a Volt.

    • 0 avatar
      rentonben

      There’s two cars I won’t let my children ride in.

      1) Rusted out panel van with “free candy” Krylond on the side.
      2) Yaris/Prius C

      • 0 avatar
        Sam P

        So you’re okay with your kids riding in an original Beetle with no crash protection whatsoever, but not a modern compact car with loads of airbags and good crash test scores?

        I guess it takes all kinds to make an internet.

    • 0 avatar
      Marko

      The Chevy Volt and Toyota Yaris are both IIHS “Top Picks”.

      In the EuroNCAP, both receive five stars. The Volt (tested as “Opel Ampera”) receives an 85% rating for adults and 78% for children; the Yaris receives 89% for adults and 81% for children.

      You might remember that 2009 IIHS test where a Camry destroyed the passenger compartment of the previous Yaris. Well, for the new 2012 Yaris, Toyota responded to those concerns by crashing a Yaris into a Crown (a Lexus GS sized car), and the Yaris held up very well.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        Yup. the IIHS crashed a smartfortwo into a C300, a Yaris into a Camry and a Fit into an Accord. In all three cases the driver in the smartfortwo, Yaris or Fit would be dead, or basically wishing they were dead.

        Was was interesting was not only did the Camry slice right through the Yaris (in the slow motion video you can see the crash test dummy head in the Yaris hitting the hood of the Camry) the Camry only got an “acceptable” rating with injuries likely to the driver in the Camry also in the crash.

    • 0 avatar
      LectroByte

      Hey carlson fan, them grapes seem mighty sour. Or are you just some kind of wacky no-life troll?

  • avatar
    Trend-Shifter

    Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe the Prius C is NOT a “plug in” HEV.

    If my information is correct, then you should only compare the Prius “plug in” numbers to the Volt.

    • 0 avatar
      Steven02

      Don’t try to make sense here when there is some GM bashing going on.

    • 0 avatar
      MR2turbo4evr

      “Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe the Prius C is NOT a “plug in” HEV.

      If my information is correct, then you should only compare the Prius “plug in” numbers to the Volt.”

      Exactly. But why does Dan Akerson compare the Volt & Prius sales then? Toyota is just doing the same thing now. If Dan Akerson would’ve stayed quiet, Toyota wouldn’t have made this statement either.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        It’s a valid comparison. GM targeted a small (soon to be very crowded) market, the PHEV market. Conventional hybrids are clearly the choice of the green car buying public based on sales of the Prius. That’s why the comparison is valid. By the way, criticizing GM does not automatically equate to hate. Many of us want GM to succeed and to do that we think they need to head in a different direction.

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    I just drove a second generation Prius for two days as my Altima hybrid was in for service. Yet, I am not sure what the fuss is about. Yes, I did get a 50 MPG average, which outclasses my Altima’s 34. And the energy display is awesome. Even the power was adequate, especially in light of the mileage. But, as an enthusiast, I was disappointed. The Prius leaned like a drunk sailor, the tires howled, the interior was funky and a bit cheap, the radio was lacking fidelity…I was so happy to get my Altima back…it run rings around the Prius.

    • 0 avatar
      84Cressida

      You answered your own question. You got 50 MPG. MPG. MPG. MPG. It isn’t a sports car and it doesn’t try to be. It’s a reliable, efficent, versatile, good value of a car. And that’s why it’s the success that it is.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        But would it kill Toyota to firm things up, even if just a little? It would have no impact on mileage and would make using it that much better…a bit more bar, firmer dampers and springs, and a little feedback at the wheel would do nothing to make existing owners upset – the Altima is somewhat firm but not sports car firm – yet it would increase appeal for those who actually like to drive and spend three hours a day in their car. Even if it was an option….

      • 0 avatar
        Sam P

        For those who want a “sporty” Prius, Lexus offers the CT200h.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    Bertel, here in the pacific northwest US, Asahi Super Dry is either in a 1 liter can or tastes like the Molson it is. 5 liters would leave me saying nothing about anybody. Although… maybe Akerson has given it a go. It’s a better rationalization than any I’ve seen her for that kind of BS. I far prefer yours. Any chance of more “autobiography” posts?

  • avatar
    rudiger

    I also have to go with the GM defenders on this one. Clearly, Akerson meant the first year ‘US’ Prius sales. It’s something of a stretch to think he actually meant first year Japanese Prius sales.

    Likewise, there’s no question that the Japanese government has always been in bed with Toyota, Honda, et al, with lots of help to keep the price artificially down on new technology vehicles requiring large amounts of R&D. Japan companies have a long history of such general business practices, starting with Sony ‘dumping’ tvs on the US market in the seventies, virtually wiping-out the US television industry.

    And comparing the Volt with the Prius c is simply disingenuous.

    If GM would knock about $5k off the MSRP of a Volt, they’d be okay. With the federal tax credit, that would get the price of a base, no-option Volt down to around $27.5k, undercutting the price of a base Plug-in Prius (PiP) by a healthy $4,500. At that price, Volts would start moving off the lots in earnest.

    • 0 avatar
      84Cressida

      And like Bertel mentioned, if we use the first full year of Prius sales in THE UNITED STATES, the Volt still loses. It’s obvious that Akerson is either an even bigger tool than once thought, he was blantantly lying through his teeth for good PR, or he stupidly assumed that since the Prius went on sale in the US in 2000 that it had been on sale for the entire year, when infact it had only been onsale from July onward.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      “Clearly, Akerson meant the first year ‘US’ Prius sales.”

      I agree. The extended rant about Japan-market sales was a pointless tangent.

      Akerson was still wrong, though. If he was referring to the first 12 month of sales starting with the launch, then those figures would be 12,968 units for the Prius, vs. 6,468 units for the Volt. If he was referring to the first full calendar year of sales, then the tally would be 15,556 for the Prius, vs. 7,671 for the Volt. In both cases, the ratio was about 2:1 in favor the Prius.

      That being said, it’s fair to say that the Prius had a slow start in the US. It took years for it to gain traction. In those early years, they were certainly not making money with the car.

      I have serious doubts that the Volt will be successful, but some of the commentary is just ridiculous. It simply makes no sense to expect high sales figures from something like this. The readership here is riddled with late adopters, and if this was 2000 or 2001, most of the very same people would be pissing on the Prius, offering the same “insights” that they are offering here.

      • 0 avatar
        rudiger

        According to Wikipedia, first year (2000) US sales of the Prius was 5.6k. I’m sure that’s what Akerson was referring to in his statement. So, yeah, he was probably fudging a bit in comparing 2000 partial year Prius sales with Volt sales for an equivalent timeframe.

        But sales volume between the two is still close enough that the comparison is valid: the 2000 Prius was truly brand-new, ground-breaking technology with initial US sales being very low, taking years to build before it became a mainstream success.

        It remains to be seen if GM can follow the same long-term strategy as Toyota. There’s no question that GM would have quickly dropped the Prius in its early years for poor sales on a car that very likely lost money on every sale. Past-practice has shown that GM has a very bad habit of dropping any new vehicle if they don’t show profitability very quickly.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        A good balanced post, and spot on in the facts department. I would only add that the Japanese government very heavily subsidized the development of the Prius, providing not just massive buyer incentives in the home market, but providing the equivalent of billions in US dollars for the R&D to bring the car to life.

      • 0 avatar
        goldtownpe

        According to Wikipedia, first year US sales (2010) of Chevy Volt was 326. Less than 5.6k of first year US Prius sales. Volt still loses and Akerson is still wrong no matter how you spin. Yeah…two can play the partial year game too.

      • 0 avatar
        VoltOwner

        Revolutionary?

        http://tinyurl.com/VoltAncestor
        (This does show how the old GM was an old hand at dropping the ball, way before the EV1!)

        “As soon as Obama is out of office, the Volt will go the way of the EV1.”

        You do recall how Bob Lutz was pushing the Volt back in 2006 or so right? And how he had to convince the administration that it was too close to being finished to kill it?

        “GM can ill afford to continue the Volt once the government hand
        outs and special tax accommodations end.”

        You mean the ones that G.W had his rubber stamp Congress pass so he could sign them into law?

      • 0 avatar
        VoltOwner

        The point is, Wikipedia simply states that the first year U.S. sales were 5.6K. No qualifier about a mid year introduction. So if anything, someone at GM is guilty of trusting a single (open) source document and not doing any research beyond the first google result that popped up.

  • avatar
    Junebug

    Good article Bert, I love how the butt hurt GM fan boys whine.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Those whiners are in denial! I have nothing against GM products – I owned them for many years. But the GM fans are more than a few cans short of a six-pack here if they think that the Volt is any kind of contender against ANY Prius. The Volt is lifestyles apart from ANY Prius.

      I hope the Volt remains available for anyone who wants to buy one, but I don’t see it as anything but a niche vehicle aimed at a wealthy demographic. ANY Prius will outsell the Volt, now and in the future.

      As someone else pointed out elsewhere, the Prius was revolutionary. The Volt evolutionary. No matter how you compare it, the Prius outsold the Volt everywhere, and will continue to do so in the future.

      The Prius c is a cute “people’s car”. The reason it has sold like hotcakes in that segment is because it is in tune with everyone, everywhere.

      The Volt is in tune with people who have a lot of money and pay a lot of taxes, and who want to have this faux trinket car to show off to their friends. As soon as Obama is out of office, the Volt will go the way of the EV1.

      GM can ill afford to continue the Volt once the government hand outs and special tax accommodations end. And they will end because GM cannot sustain itself on its global sales and marketshare.

      • 0 avatar
        TonyJZX

        whether Akerson is right or wrong is neither here nor there. You cannot expect a CEO to get a passing news grab phrase 100% accurate. You cannot hold a GM exec to the same standards as say Mullaly or Sergio or Akio or Ghosn…

        Truth of the matter is the Volt is just not build with consumers in mind. Built with taxpayers money, MSRP to be subsidised by taxpayers… its a political white elephant. This business plan should never had left the back of the napkin.

        GM expect consumers to bend to the product and act all surprised when the “customer is always wrong”.

        Toyota without much fuss, made a car FOR consumers with no political agenda.

        To the person who says that the Prius was subsidised by the Japanese taxpayer… who cares? Am I a Japanese taxpayer? It could be subsidised by martians for all I care. And even so, that taxpayer was 10 years ago when the Prius was young and now obviously that investment pays dividends.

        The Volt investment will never pay dividends. This truly is the EV1 of our generation. If only GM would recall the lot and turn them into landfill.

      • 0 avatar
        jkumpire

        “The Prius c is a cute “people’s car”. The reason it has sold like hotcakes in that segment is because it is in tune with everyone, everywhere.”

        Wrong! the Prius is an appliance, with one noteworthy sales point; an EPA rating of 50 mpg, and a real world mileage of something around that number. Yesterday for the first time in my life I went to a large auto show. I spent a lot of time looking at a Volt, a Cruze ECO and a Prius C. for what you get in them, I’d rather drive a Volt or Cruze in a heartbeat than a Prius.

        I’ve got no dog in this fight, I’m not interested in buying any of them. And they were not the worst cars on the floor yesterday, that award is shared by the Fiat 500 and Honda Accord.

        The Prius is not a car for everybody, just like GM is not a place to go for business sense or honesty.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        jkumpire, the Prius c is marketed to young people. The Volt is marketed to people with money. Big difference there, since MOST people who want a Volt today do not have the spare coin it takes to lease or buy a Volt.

        We helped buy our grand daughter a 2011 Elantra last year as a HS graduation gift and for use to/from college. She informed us that if the Prius c had been available last year she would have chosen that one as a keeper. We assured her that she can have a Prius c when her Elantra’s warranty expires.

        I expect the Prius c to be wildly popular with a large demographic, unlike the Volt. I expect the Plug-in Prius to be equally popular but with a different demographic, and for different reasons.

      • 0 avatar
        TonyJZX

        i find it funny how people go “oh but the Prius C isn’t for everyone”… sure that’s universally true for any car… we’re not building VW Bugs or Model T Fords here…

        however whether you like it or not or whether it suits the lifestyle of everyone is irrelevent… when it comes down to it, figures talk and bullsh*t walks and the Prius has incredible sales figures and its CLEAR it has found an incredible audience where it does work.

        The Volt clearly does not. I can’t see much rosey days for GM.

  • avatar
    PaulVincent

    “After we had pointed out that small discrepancy, a vociferous posse of Akerson apologists appeared.”
    As this is a presidential election year, watch for any article critical of President Obama or any of his pet projects (GM – Volt) to get a great deal of criticism throughout the campaign season. I saw exactly the same thing in 2008 on another website (so much so that now readers cannot post replies in an efficacious manner). The closer the election came, the quicker replies supporting Obama came.

  • avatar
    obruni

    Hey Toyota, what is the order book looking like for your Prius Plug in Hybrid?

    you know, that plug-in car with a smaller range than the Volt, and a $7500 navigation system?

    • 0 avatar

      the prius-c is a side show. anyone who thinks that the volt is going to sell better than the plugin prius really doesn’t get it. the battery technology still isn’t there to create an electric (with or without a “range extender”) for the mass market. the next step is the plugin hybrid. everybody knows this. because toyota has stuck to their knitting and spent many years proving the reliability of the prius nameplate, they will be the company that gets there first. toyota may even miss the mark on pricing and accessories but they will correct any missteps quickly. the plugin prius is going to be the most significant introduction in the u.s. market since the original prius. the volt will unfortunately become a footnote in automotive history.

      • 0 avatar
        TonyJZX

        PHEVs work where there is significantly cheap electricity via nuclear or hydro or via domestic solar cells etc.

        However many societies have steadily increasing energy costs that may not even meet economical home heating… you hear about people who have died because they cannot afford winter heating.

        In this respect PHEVs are a wash. Prius C is the first shot across the bows for that price and level of hybrid.

        I would be expecting that Toyota would be moving onto a PHEV Prius C for the 2nd gen… I agree that a PHEV Prius C would perhaps even better but all the more devastating for Volt… I cannot blame Toyota for not releasing everything at once… leave something on the table for 2013…

  • avatar
    geozinger

    More BS from BS.

    A flame-baiting headline, and a scattered-subject post which was no reason to rehash the whole Akerson misquote. Reporting on each respective PR department’s wars is almost as useless as Jack Baruth’s weird war on Ray Wert a while ago. That’s when TTAC fell off of my idle-time internet pages list.

    • 0 avatar
      05lgt

      Do I read this as a statement you were paid for this reply? corporate PR is BS’s area of expertise, why wouldn’t we be interested in his informed perspective?

      • 0 avatar
        geozinger

        It would be great perspective if it were not written as it were flame bait. There was no reason to post about Akerson (again!) when noting that the Prius C was outselling the Volt and the other similar cars.

        Riddle me this: Why so many posts on the Volt? If it were as insignificant and market inappropriate as many people claim, why bring it up repeatedly? Why are there far less posts about the Leaf? I can’t remember the last time I saw anything about the iMiev. That car is (apparently in the same class, right?

        In a perverse way, if you believe there’s no bad publicity, then who is really working for GM PR here? I aint me, bro.

      • 0 avatar
        TonyJZX

        do you really need to ask why the Volt gets column inches EVERYWHERE and yet the iMiev and Leaf don’t?

        I don’t remember Obama shilling the Japanese cars. I don’t remember Bush bailing out Nissan/Mitsubishi. People have a vested interest in Volt just like the old GM deathwatch.

  • avatar
    obbop

    Toyota will do better when they, with time, finally wash away the stench of the Vega that has clung to them along with the obvious purposeful ignoring of not backing up their warranty they so often did not stand behind on new vehicles they sold in the 2000s.

    Oh… wait……………….

  • avatar
    TheHammer

    i can sense that BS can barely contain his joy! BS alert at TTAC! Again. Keep up the sniping!

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    The Prius C will sell out very quickly, not because it’s a hybrid per se, but because it’s a well-built, useful car that appeals to many at a fair price which happens to get great mileage at a time when gas keeps going up during the slow driving season, just you wait till the driving season is in full swing.

  • avatar
    FJ60LandCruiser

    My homemade sushi turned P-U-shi…

    Um, yeah, way to get me not to want to buy a car Toyota.

  • avatar
    mic

    I think hybrids are a bunch of crap. They sell you a hybrid drive built in a cheap car and charge you through the nose with the promise of great mpg’s the whole while you can be driving a cheaper car that gets decent mileage for a whole lot less money. I don’t get why people fall for it unless they got the money to blow. I crunched the numbers and ended up buying a Versa hatchback that I get 30 mpg regularly instead of the Golf TDI because it would take 300k miles on the Versa before I break even with the Golf. Much the same numbers with a Prius. Gas is expensive but 10k still buys quite a bit of it. The vast majority of people don’t keep their cars that long anyway so in the real world the electrics and hybrids are a waste of money so you can say you get 50 mpgs. That and $4 will get you a caramel macchiato at Starbucks!

  • avatar
    i_godzuki

    Can someone show me the evidence that Prius got billions from the Japanese government?


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