Toyota Lowers 2016 Prius Global Sales Goal Over Low Oil, Fuel Prices

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon
toyota lowers 2016 prius global sales goal over low oil fuel prices

Toyota announced Wednesday it would lower its global sales goal for the 2016 Prius in light of low fuel prices curbing sales of fuel-efficent vehicles.

According to Reuters, Toyota’s new target is to move an annual average of 300,000 to 350,000 Prii out of the lot around the world, compared to the 300,000 to 400,000 annual sales average sought for the outgoing model. A company representative said a decline in global sales of the hybrid since 2013 was one of the reasons behind Toyota’s decision.

At the same time, global oil prices fell by nearly half of what they were back when the descent began in mid-2014. In turn, pump prices also declined significantly, encouraging consumers to choose less-efficient vehicles instead of hybrids, EVs, and other green-tinged solutions.

In the U.S., pump prices are now at seven-year lows, which Toyota notes may be why sales of the Prius fell 12 percent in the U.S. in November 2015 when compared to the same month in 2014.

Despite those declines, however, Toyota is still king of the gasoline-hybrid mountain. Eight million of the 9 million gasoline-fueled hybrids sold around the world are wearing Toyota badges, 4 million of which are Prii.

The 2016 Prius hit showrooms in its home market Wednesday for ¥2.43 million ($19,808 USD) to start. The new hybrid will arrive in the U.S. and the rest of Asia in January, followed by European showrooms in February.

[Photo credit: Aaron Cole/ The Truth About Cars]

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  • RideHeight RideHeight on Dec 09, 2015

    New roof kills it as a mid-sizer. Everything is turning into the dorsal half of a Christian fish symbol. Just enough ergonomic space to barely clear front-row heads and those behind can just go fish.

  • Gasser Gasser on Dec 09, 2015

    Saw a 2016 at the auto show and spent a while speaking with the rep. While still NOT an attractive vehicle, the interior is much improved. I will try driving one when available as the handling is much hyped as significantly improved. As to the price of fuel, to those paying under $2/gallon, congratulations. Here in Los Angeles, regular at my local station is $2.79 per gallon. Nationwide (worldwide) we are subject to the whims of oil producers most of whom are not stable and reliable producers. Saudi Arabia is suffering increasing political pressures. Venezuela, Mexico and Brazil have falling production. The Middle East remains a powder keg with many nations flying combat air patrols over a very small region. California faces a crunch on production with many mysterious shut downs for "maintenance" and the occasional industrial accident curtailing gasoline production. Highway mileage of newer compacts hovers at or over 40mpg, but the city mileage doesn't come close to hybrid gas sipping. Do you want to buy/lease a Prius (or any hybrid) when gas is cheap and there are big subsidies and discounts? Or do you prefer to wait until gas is $5/gallon and there is a waiting list to pay list plus Additional Dealer Profit?

  • Zip89123 Zip89123 on Dec 10, 2015

    Poor Toyota will just have to sell more Tundra's and Sequoia's.

    • Highdesertcat Highdesertcat on Dec 10, 2015

      Hell, I've got one of each, a 2011 Tundra 5.7 and a 2015 Sequoia 5.7. Very happy with both. Highly recommend them. But they're not for the fuel-economy weak kneed. Both are pretty thirsty. Best overall mpg I got with either was 15mpg that included a long downhill slope.

  • Laserwizard Laserwizard on Dec 14, 2015

    I applaud form follows function. I loathe form that follows a catbox and pulls out a nugget without the litter coating.