A Toyota executive said that the automaker might miss its goal of selling 250,000 Prius Hybrids in the US by the end of this year.
“The 240,000 to 250,000 range is kind of where we’re settling our sights for the Prius family,” said Bill Fay, group vice president for Toyota’s U.S. sales.
Fay added that the automaker has started last month to expand marketing for the Prius models and it will continue the strategy this month too. Last year the Japanese automaker sold 236,659 Prius vehicles in the US, but sales dropped 5.1% during the first half of this year, even if Toyota’s overall sales in the US during this period increased 6%.
“It’ll be a challenge,” Jim Lentz, Toyota’s North American chief executive officer, said in an interview today in New York. “We’ll continue to push Prius and Prius family, but if it ends up that demand is less than the sales forecast, that may be adjusted.”
During the first quarter sales of the Prius hybrids fell 8.4% to 55,724 units. Over the past 10 years sales of gasoline-electric vehicles increased despite fluctuating fuel prices. If in April 2012 the average US gasoline price was $3.891 a gallon, this April the price is $3.506 a gallon, a decrease of 9.9% from last year.