Toyota aims to improve U.S. sales – cuts down 2014 Prius price image

The Japanese automaker, the world’s largest seller of hybrid autos, has decided to lower the base price of the 2014 Prius Plug-in to $29,990, a $2,010 reduction from the current car, while the top-end Advanced grade gets a 12% cut to $34,905.

Automakers find that initial cost has actually become more critical to the US consumers, which now judge hybrids and battery rechargeable autos on the same basis as traditional cars, Toyota has started since August to offer new, reduced lease and loan deals for its electric battery-powered RAV4 crossover to help buoy its sales. Honda, Nissan and General Motors have all recently been turning more often to offer discounted leases, price cuts or both for their range of rechargeable models.

The US plug-in hybrid and battery-only auto sales have reached a total of around 67,000 this year through September, based on data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s a record and already exceeds the 52,000 cars that were sold in all of 2012. GM’s Volt plug-in has become the the segment’s best-seller, reaching 16,760 deliveries, followed by Nissan’s all-electric Leaf hatchback at 16,076 (the world’s best-selling all electric car), according to the companies.

Toyota is also under more pressure than other carmakers to sell as many plug-in hybrids and battery-only vehicles as possible in California, because it also sells the most cars in the state and in order to fall in line with the state’s Zero-Emission Vehicle program it needs many “green” credits.

Via Bloomberg