Prius leaps from niche to mainstream
TOKYO, May 30 — The Toyota Prius became the world’s third-best-selling car in the first quarter of this year.
In a staggering performance, the hybrid model outsold nearly all competition to become the world’s third-best-selling car line during the first three months of this year.
A whopping 247,230 Prius models sold, reported Bloomberg, meaning that the eco-friendly vehicle was outsold only by the Toyota Corolla and Ford Focus.
Despite having been on sale for 15 years, the Prius is still widely regarded as a niche model, with many believing it would struggle to compete in the mainstream market.
With Toyota expanding the range to include a compact and MPV model last year though, sales of the Prius have more than doubled around the world, generous government incentives helping in Japan and high fuel prices driving sales in the US.
Analysts have described the burst of Prius sales as “incredible”, noting that the sales have built slowly through the years — perhaps a positive sign for current eco-friendly slow sellers such as the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf.
Despite other automakers rolling out hybrid models, the Prius remains by far the world’s best-selling hybrid, although there have been minimal changes to its design through the years. — AFP/Relaxnews