Chart Of The Day: Peak Prius?

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
chart of the day peak prius

What’s that? We still haven’t plumbed the depths of our bag-o-automotive-sales-data thoroughly enough to have published annual sales for the Toyota Prius? Well, here it is, my truth-starved friends: ten years of Prius sales, culminating in two consecutive years of falling sales. And granted, most nameplates are down over the last two years because the market has been down for a solid two years now. Also, if you think the downturn is due to gas prices, you’ve got a surprise waiting for you after the jump. So has the Prius lost its luster? Could the most culturally significant passenger car of the last ten years be running out of steam (or whatever it runs on), or is this just a natural drop in demand in line with a weak market?

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  • Srogers Srogers on Jul 21, 2010

    Yes, a wagon. Make it rear-wheel drive and turbo diesel and I've got the money in my pocket. Get the price down to $20k and the weight under 2200 lbs and they'll sell like snake skin earmuffs.

  • EChid EChid on Jul 21, 2010

    @srogers Except that they wouldn't. The Prius is arguably a pretty good value proposition. Yes, it is slow, but with congestion these days being fast is almost not relevent. Its quiet, refined and pretty cheap. The other big selling point is that it is quite usable with the hatchback setup. In fact, the Prius makes way more sense as family bread and butter over the Camry, and arguably looks better (with the optional 17 inch rims). Once consumers pick up on this and look beyond the simple hybrid-ness of it...then things might improve. One other thing could also lead to the decline: The materials in the new Prius are crap. As in, notably, obviously, crappy. People might actually be starting to notice things like this in Toyotas now. Disclaimer: I dislike Toyota and almost all of their products. I am not a fanboy. I cheer at their misfortune (because of they deserve it). But still, I do see the benefits of some products.

  • Fahrvergnugen NA Miata goes topless as long as roads are dry and heater is running, windscreen in place.
  • Fred Private equity is only concerned with making money. Not in content. The only way to deal with it, is to choose your sites wisely. Even that doesn't work out. Just look at AM/FM radio for a failing business model that is dominated by a few large corporations.
  • 3SpeedAutomatic Lots of dynamics here:[list][*]people are creatures of habit, they will stick with one or two web sites, one or two magazines, etc; and will only look at something different if recommended by others[/*][*]Generation Y & Z is not "car crazy" like Baby Boomers. We saw a car as freedom and still do. Today, most youth text or face call, and are focused on their cell phone. Some don't even leave the house with virtual learning[/*][*]New car/truck introductions are passé; COVID knocked a hole in car shows; spectacular vehicle introductions are history.[/*][*]I was in the market for a replacement vehicle, but got scared off by the current used and new prices. I'll wait another 12 to 18 months. By that time, the car I was interested in will be obsolete or no longer available. Therefore, no reason to research till the market calms down. [/*][*]the number of auto related web sites has ballooned in the last 10 to 15 years. However, there are a diminishing number of taps on their servers as the Baby Boomers and Gen X fall off the radar scope. [/*][/list]Based on the above, the whole auto publishing industry (magazine, web sites, catalogs, brochures, etc) is taking a hit. The loss of editors and writers is apparent in all of publishing. This is structural, no way around it.
  • Dukeisduke I still think the name Bzzzzzzzzzzt! would have been better.
  • Dukeisduke I subscribed to both Road & Track and Car and Driver for over 25 years, but it's been close to 20 years since I dropped both. I tried their digital versions with their reader software (can't remember the name now), but it wasn't the same. I let it lapse after a year.From what I've seen of R&T's print version, it's turned into more of a lifestyle thing like The Robb Report. I haven't seen an issue of C/D in a while.I enjoyed both magazines a lot when I was subscribing. R&T for the road tests (especially the April Fools road tests), used car reviews, historical articles, and columns like Peter Egan's Side Glances and Dennis Simanitis's Technical Correspondence. And C/D for the road tests and pithy commentary, and columns like Gordon Baxter's, and Jean Shepherd's (that goes way back to the early '70s).
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