Toyota Roasts GM: More Prius C Sold In Three Days Than Volts In A Month

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
toyota roasts gm more prius c sold in three days than volts in a month

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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4 of 84 comments
  • Volt 230 Volt 230 on Mar 17, 2012

    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.

  • FJ60LandCruiser FJ60LandCruiser on Mar 18, 2012

    My homemade sushi turned P-U-shi... Um, yeah, way to get me not to want to buy a car Toyota.

  • Mic Mic on Mar 18, 2012

    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!

  • I_godzuki I_godzuki on Mar 19, 2012

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