Toyota Prius: world’s best selling model is hybrid!

Prius jumps to lightspeed

Prius jumps to lightspeed © Roger H. Goun

For the first time in the automotive history an Hybrid vehicle is the world’s best selling model, as reported by research team, with over 256.000 vehicles sold in the first quarter 2012, ahead of former leader, Toyota Corolla (253.000) and Ford Focus (231.000).

Toyota Prius is a full hybrid electric vehicles introduced in the 1997 in the Japanese market and progressivelly launched all over the world (it is actually sold in more than 70 countries).

Originally only in the hatchback bodystyle, with the 2011 launch of the third version, Prius become a family including the Prius v, an hatchback wagon sold under the name “Prius”, and the Prius c, a traditional subcompact hatchback sold in Japan under the “Aqua” nameplate, and the Prius v, sold with name “Alpha” a Multi Purpose Vehicle.

Unveiled at September 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show, Prius offer also a Plug-in Hybrid electric vehicle, outfitted with  a 4.4 kwh lithium ion battery, developed in partnership with Panasonic Corp., with improved performances in terms of distances covered and speed.

According to Toyota, the Prius plug-in CO2  emission of 49 g/km or 112 Mpg/US.

The Prius family is market leader in Japan since years. However the third series, improved in style, performances, technology and customer options is dominating the Japanese market, also thanks to the Government incentive program, in favor of low emission vehicles. In the first quarter 2012, Prius sold over 189.000 units projecting a record sales of 600.000 units plus, for the entire year.

But new Prius is a great success also in the other side of Pacific Ocean, were over 60.000 units had been sold in USA. And in April achieved the 5th position. In other countries, Prius is again not in demand.

During the Q1 2012 behind Toyota Prius in second position there is the former leader, a Toyota again, the Corolla. It is sold all over the world, but is appreciated in particular in North America. The last version, introduced at the end of 2011, is already very popular and able to sell over a quarter of a million in the first 3 months of 2012 (including sales of European version, named Auris).

In the third position there is a the Ford Focus. Last generation is probably less succesful in Europe than the previous, but now the style is more aligned with the global demand and Focus is now sold from US to Korea. Only in Europe is in the Top 10 ranking, but is collecting volumes in any country.

Ford Fiesta is the leader in small car segment, holding the 5th absolute position with 180.000 units. Another Ford, the F-series is leading the Pick up segment, holding the 10th global position. This model is the best selling in US.

Volkswagen with Golf, Polo and Passat holds 3 models in top 10. The surprise is the Chevrolet Cruze, in 6th position. This model I quite popular in China, US, Russia and Brazil.

The first Chinese is the Wuling Sunshine, a mini-bus top selling model in China, 11th globally while the first Korean product is the Hyundai Elantra 14th.

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One Comment

  1. Mika says:

    Hybrid revolution has started – for real… and that´s great, not least because of the r&d done here. BR, Mika

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