Toyota Motor Corporation announced U.S. sales of its Prius v wagon in 10 weeks topped sales of General Motors’ Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid sold throughout the year.
Toyota sold 8,399 of the hybrid wagon, which arrived in U.S. dealerships in the last week of October.
GM sold 7,671 Volts in 2011 and 7,997 in the car’s first 13 months on the market. The Japanese automaker hadn’t distinguished Prius v sales from those of the original one.
“Prius v is off to a great start,” Jim Lentz, president of Toyota’s U.S. sales unit, was quoted as saying by Bloomberg. The hybrid wagon starts at $26,400, while the Volt’s base price is $39,145. The Volt is eligible for as much as $7,500 in federal tax credits.
Toyota, the largest gasoline-electric auto seller, wants to sell more than 220,000 vehicles bearing the Prius name this year in the U.S. customers, 60 percent more than in 2011. The projection is based on the fact that Toyota will also launch the Prius c subcompact in March, in addition to the original hatchback, the Prius v and the plug-in Prius.
According to GM spokesman Rob Peterson, comparing the plug-in Volt with the hybrid Prius v wagon is ridiculous. “Consumers cross-shop vehicles with comparable technologies or functionality, not a new name plate. Comparing Volt to Prius v is apples and oranges,” Peterson said.