“Since the Prius went on sale eleven years ago not a year has gone by when it hasn’t been the number one selling hybrid vehicle in the U.S,” said Bob Carter, Toyota Division group vice president and general manager.
“Prius has become synonymous with the word hybrid and as we see fuel prices starting to rise again, it has accounted for more than 60 percent of hybrid passenger car sales so far this year. Prius paved the way for hybrids and while it is still the hybrid leader in sales and fuel economy, I’m proud to say that since its introduction, 13 other auto brands have seen the benefits of hybrid technology and joined the hybrid market,” Carter concluded.
The first generation of the Prius was introduced in 1997 first in Japan and later on in the U.S. and other countries. The second generation came to fruition in 2003 and remained in production until 2009 when Toyota revealed the current, third iteration of its popular hybrid model.
Toyota claims that since its launch in the U.S. in 2000, the Prius has “saved American consumers more than an estimated 881 million gallons of gas, $2.19 billion in fuel costs, and 12.4 million tons of CO2 emissions” when compared to the average car.
At the Detroit Auto Show in January, Toyota introduced a new member to the Prius family, the Prius v minivan that will go on sale in the third quarter of the year. The company also plans to launch two more models in early 2012, the Prius c compact hybrid vehicle and the Prius Plug-in Hybrid vehicle.