At first, however, Toyota was a bit
worried over how much damage Honda's cheaper 2010 Insight would do to
the sales of its "green" poster child. The Insight has a
base price of $19,800 which undercuts the Prius by a few grand. To
combat the price gap, Toyota announced earlier this year that it
would launch a "stripper"
Prius I for just $21,000 to better compete with the pricing of
As it turns out, Toyota really had no
cause for concern. The Insight hit U.S. streets and failed
to generate the sales that Honda had hoped for its latest entry
into the hot hybrid field. Most consumers didn't seem to care about
the higher price of the Prius due to its better fuel economy (50 mpg
combined vs 41 mpg combined), greater passenger/cargo space, better
performance, and higher level of tech gadgetry on the options list.
So due to Honda's miss for targeting
the second-generation Prius instead of the beefed up third-generation
model and strong sales, Toyota has dropped
plans to introduce the base Prius I for general consumers. The
model will still be made available, however, for fleet customers.
In addition, Toyota is also bumping the
price of the Prius II, III, and IV trim levels by $400. The new pricing will go into effect on October 18.
During the month of August, Honda was
only able to sell 4,226
Insights in the U.S. However, Toyota managed to move a whopping
Prius hybrids during the same month.
quote: Absence of grip? This is not an autocross car.
quote: For those that that just use a vehicle for A to B transportation, I don't see what the big deal is about its "poor" handling.
quote: "It was clear that people weren't buying a Prius to save money on gas - gas was selling close to inflation-adjusted all-time lows. They were buying them to make a statement about the environment."-- Martin Eberhard, founder of Tesla Motorshttp://money.cnn.com/2008/07/10/technology/copelan...
quote: It'd be nice to have a car that is larger and has more cargo room for about $1,000 more than what I paid for my Mazda 3s Hatch
quote: if you don't like what I wrote and want to rate me down, that's fine
quote: How is great price, great fuel economy, great reliability, great room, great features an emotional appeal?
quote: Gold coins may be a status symbol for one person, and they may be a survivalist tool for a different person.
quote: Sounds as if we are in agreement then that a Prius may or may not be a status symbol depending on the motives of the purchaser.
quote: A status symbol is not necessarily indicative of excess.
quote: Why don't you go read that Wikipedia page you're linking to. You just may learn a thing or two.
quote: You can't put a price on what stupid ecofreaks will pay to feel good about themselves.
quote: And even after all that, Hybrid sales are still pathetic by any objective measure.
quote: rather than a status symbol it represents around $1500 a year in lower fuel (costs based on current prices in CA).
quote: I think the prestige of their company would be better served by maintaining the original price and if demand is high
quote: but they sell almost 300k Priuses a year, that increases revenues by more than $100 million.
quote: But there's no explanation as to why the price increase. I've read different stories about the profits or losses on hybrids, so I don't know if this is to make up for losses on introductory prices or simply to take advantage of poor competition. Consumers like it when the price goes DOWN, so what gives?
quote: It simply hasn't sold as well as the Prius because it's an inferior product -- and its priced accordingly.
quote: The Prius price increase/demand suggests that GM will have no trouble at all selling the Volt for $35-40,000.