Toyota Prius, the most popular product of US unit, will exceed 220,000 vehicles with the new Prius c, a smaller version of the hybrid hatchback, showed at North American International Auto Show in Detroit sales, will climb more than 60 percent to a record this year.
Prius c goes on sale early this year, priced below $19,000 and offering 53 miles per gallon in city driving. Prius c hybrid drivers can select from Normal, Eco and EV drive modes as always.
The Prius c joins the standard midsize Prius, Prius v wagon added late last year and Prius plug-in that also goes on sale this year.
Prius c targets entry-level buyers. “It’s sized, priced, styled and packaged to appeal to young buyers on a budget who, until now, have probably found a hybrid experience out of reach,” said Jim Lentz, Toyota USA president and CEO. Jim Lentz, president of the U.S. sales unit, said, ”Prius is by far the best execution of hybrid in the marketplace, It’s a core strategy we’re sticking by.”
Along with the expanded Prius line, the company will add another new hybrid car this year, a hybrid that has more room than a BMW X5, it’s faster than a VW TDi and has higher MPG than a Fiat 500. Bob Carter, group vice president of U.S. Toyota brand sales, declined to say whether the model would be a hybrid version of Toyota’s Avalon large sedan.
Honda Insight hybrid is the closest competitor for the Prius c.
Insight hybrid has a starting price of $18,350 and gets 41 miles per gallon, according to Honda.
Since introducing the first gasoline-electric car with the Prius in late 1997, Toyota has sold a cumulative 3.4 million hybrids worldwide.