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?

Join the conversation
2 of 31 comments
  • 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.

  • Bullnuke Well, production cuts may be due to transport-to-market issues. The MV Fremantle Highway is in a Rotterdam shipyard undergoing repairs from the last shipment of VW products (along with BMW and others) and to adequately fireproof it. The word in the shipping community is that insurance necessary for ships moving EVs is under serious review.
  • Frank Wait until the gov't subsidies end, you aint seen nothing yet. Ive been "on the floor" when they pulled them for fuel efficient vehicles back during/after the recession and the sales of those cars stopped dead in their tracks
  • Vulpine The issue is really stupidly simple; both names can be taken the wrong way by those who enjoy abusing language. Implying a certain piece of anatomy is a sign of juvenile idiocy which is what triggered the original name-change. The problem was not caused by the company but rather by those who continuously ridiculed the original name for the purpose of VERY low-brow humor.
  • Sgeffe There's someone around where I live who has a recent WRX-STi, but the few times I've been behind this guy, he's always driving right at the underposted arbitrary numbers that some politician pulled out of their backside and slapped on a sign! With no gendarmes or schoolkids present! Haven't been behind this driver on the freeway, but my guess is that he does the left lane police thing with the best of 'em!What's the point of buying such a vehicle if you're never going to exceed a speed limit? (And I've pondered that whilst in line in the left lane at 63mph behind a couple of Accord V6s, as well as an AMG E-Klasse!)
  • Mebgardner I'm not the market for a malleable Tuner / Track model, so I dont know: If you are considering a purchase of one of these, do you consider the Insurance Cost Of Ownership aspect? Or just screw it, I'm gonna buy it no matter.The WRX is at the top of the Insurance Cost pole for tuner models, is why I ask.