Toyota Considers Full Prius Range

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

In his seminal work "The Origin of Competitive Strength," former Toyota chief of Product Planning Akira Kawahara claimed that platform-sharing was a main source of early strength for Toyota. As proof that Kawahara-san's strategy of multiple brands on similar platforms still holds favor at ToMoCo, According to Automotive News [sub], the Japanese automaker is considering launching a new Prius brand. Executive VP for R&D Kazuo Okamoto confirms that Toyota is developing plans for an entire Prius range, as "Prius recognition levels [are] rising." Calling the development "a reasonable direction," Okamoto admitted that Toyota may use the Prius platform for coupes, wagons and sedans. Having already invested in a Scion dealership network which is seeing sagging sales, Toyota could leverage some considerable synergy (pun intended) with the introduction of a Prius brand alongside its ostensibly "youth-market" brand. Then again, if Toyota marketers are to be believed, criminals with hearts of gold just want a Prius with a bigger trunk.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Paul Niedermeyer Paul Niedermeyer on Mar 10, 2008

    Having followed this for awhile, there have been numerous hints about a Prius range extension, especially a wagon and a shortened "city" coupe, both of which would make lots of sense. But in typical Toyota fashion, they're going to play it close to the vest until it's well on the way. They're not into Detroit style long-term leads (Camaro).

  • Altoids Altoids on Mar 10, 2008

    That's an awesome ad. After all the tedious posturing by the media and celebrities about the moral superiority of the Prius, it's nice to see Toyota can joke about itself. Imagine an ad with an unemployed slacker surfing for pornography - "at least he's using a Mac." Apple could just never bring itself to do that.

  • Edward Niedermeyer Edward Niedermeyer on Mar 10, 2008

    Pwned. This is what marketing has become... I had no idea.