According to Japanese dealers, Toyota will price the new Prius much lower than expected - and may bode very well for U.S. consumers.
Honda has been loud and proud about its pricing strategy for the Insight; its small hybrid was expected to undercut the redesigned 2010 Toyota Prius by about $5000, making it the first truly affordable hybrid for the masses. Toyota, however, has tried to steal Honda's thunder and retain its green cred by announcing that it will continue to sell stripped down versions of the 2009 Prius at Insight-level prices.
Now, Toyota dealers in Japan are saying that the Japanese company is going to price the new Prius as a serious competitor to the Insight. According to the dealers, they were notified on March 25 that Toyota will sell the 2010 Prius starting from 2.05 million yen, or $20,750 - almost $4000 cheaper than was expected. This would place the low-level Prius at the same price point as a mid-level Insight.
The Honda Insight went on sale last month with a starting price of $20,470 including delivery charges. The Prius goes on sale in the U.S. next month, and U.S. prices are likely to mimic Japan's.
There has been no official word from Toyota regarding the new Prius' prices, but expect an announcement within the next few weeks.
Source: Automotive News