Toyota today announced that the Prius has reached the one million sold mark since arriving on our shores in 2000. Worldwide, Prius sales reached the two million mark October 2010.
Toyota pioneered and launched the first ever mass-produced hybrid in 1997 and has garnered numerous accolades along the way including sister magazine Motor Trend’s 2004 Car of the Year, awarded to the second-generation Prius. There was also a period when Toyota received an unexpected, but welcomed image (and sales) boost from Hollywood stars who bought Prii in droves, including Cameron Diaz and Leonardo DiCaprio, both of whom were vocal proponents of their wedge-shaped modes of transportation. All of a sudden, Prius owners were not only saving gas and mother earth, but also driving the same car as celebrities.
From day one, the Prius has been the top-selling hybrid in the world and planted the seed for increased fuel efficiency and ultra-low emissions throughout Toyota’s and Lexus’ line up and beyond. The “Prius paved the way for hybrids,” said Bob Carter, Toyota Division group vice president and general manager. “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.”
Today, there is a hybrid is available to fit the needs almost every automotive consumer whether it’s an all-wheel drive SUV, a luxury sedan and even supercars such as Porsche’s upcoming 918 Spyder.
With more competitors aggressively pushing out their own hybrids, Toyota is preparing to fight back by adding three variants to the Prius family. First up is the Prius V (“v” for versatility), which will seat five passengers, have 34.3 cubic feet of cargo capacity and is classified by the EPA as a midsize station wagon. The Prius V should arrive sometime this summer. Next in the pipeline is the Prius C (“C” for city), aimed at younger city-dwellers looking for something smaller than the current model. A Prius Plug-in model offering greater electric-only range tops out the foursome.