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The 2010 Toyota Prius (pictured here) and the 2010 Honda Insight are proving to be sales hits in the U.S. and Japan, giving their companies a boost and driving away from less efficient competitors.
The Toyota Prius begins to show its sales potential

While the auto industry as a whole has struggled, Honda and Toyota have been experiencing new international success, thanks to their new 2010 Insight and Prius hybrid vehicles.  With a healthy profit margin of $3,100 per vehicle, these lean, clean, green small cars are selling out and acting as a bailout for their respective companies, while other models and competitors languish.

In Japan, Honda's Insight already became the first hybrid vehicle to top overall sales charts.  Now Toyota's Prius has a success story of its own on its hands. 

Earlier this year Toyota, battered by the economic downturn had to stop production and assembly at many of its plants in an effort to reduce output and lower inventories.  However, thanks to the better than expected demand for the Prius, thanks in part to rising summer gas prices, Toyota is putting these plants back in full-time action.

States Toyota spokesman Paul Nolasco, "We are considering steps to increase production to meet demand."

Both in Japan and in many states in the U.S., consumers get tax breaks for purchasing fuel-efficient hybrid vehicles, making them a smart buy when coupled with higher gas prices.  Additional tax break measures which should sweeten the deal even more are on the books in both Japan and the U.S.

Reportedly, Toyota initially planned to internationally produce 42,000 to 43,000 vehicles per month, but has since raised its plans to 50,000 vehicles per month.  Toyota says it has received at least 80,000 orders for the third-generation Prius, but declined to comment on reports that orders have since soared to 110,000 units.  It is obvious, though, that in this bleak auto economy these well-designed hybrids are a rare bright spot.



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By mdogs444 on 5/27/2009 2:32:42 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It is obvious, though, that in this bleak auto economy these well-designed hybrids are a rare bright spot .

Jason - what the hell are you talking about?

The sales figures for the Prius are down 50% from last year. Besides, 50,000 units for a single model to be distributed worldwide is not that large of a number at all.

This article wreaks of subjectivity.




By GWD5318 on 5/27/2009 2:46:56 PM , Rating: 5
Since when has Jason ever shown a bias in an article he wrote? I mean he is the paragon of objec.....hahahah! I couldn't keep a straight face for that one. Not even a virtual one. :-)


By Jansen (blog) on 5/27/2009 2:48:44 PM , Rating: 2
Sales of the Prius have been down in large part due to anticipation for the new third-generation Prius. No one wants last year's model.

Toyota sold over 500,000 Prius cars last year.


By Samus on 5/28/2009 12:16:59 AM , Rating: 4
The Prius is at least doing one thing that other cars are not: moving off the lots.


By Sunrise089 on 5/28/2009 12:50:55 AM , Rating: 2
The type of auto/tech geeks that read blogs like this know there is a new Prius coming. The typical uninformed Prius buyer doesn't know this. Sales are down because the economy tanked and people, on the margin, cut back on luxury goods. The Prius is about sending an image that some people can't currently afford to send, so they're buying the cheaper and better alternatives.


By deltadeltadelta on 5/28/2009 6:07:03 PM , Rating: 3
Here! Here! And it is an ugly car at that.


By Ratinator on 5/27/2009 2:54:18 PM , Rating: 2
50000 not that much??? That is 600000 a year of just one model. Not to mention the article indicates it has since soared to 110000. Now we are talking somewhere between 600k and 1.3 million Prius vehicles a year meaning $1.8 to $4 billion in pure profit.....that doesn't sound so bad to me.


By Chalmus0 on 5/27/2009 2:59:20 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
This article wreaks of subjectivity


50,000 units per month, $3000 profit per = $150,000,000 profit monthly from this one model.

Yes, saying whether this is good or bad, high or low, bright or not, is all "subjective", but I imagine that more people would call this a bright spot in the current economy than not.


By mdogs444 on 5/27/2009 3:08:56 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
50,000 units per month, $3000 profit per = $150,000,000 profit monthly from this one model.

Thats if each car sold for their MSRP. Most sell close to it, but not for sticker. That's not bottom line profit though - you still need to account for all the maintenance and fixes that are needed while the car is under warranty.

Besides, I never claimed the car wasn't profitable. I claimed its not a bright spot when its sales dropped 50% with everyone elses. GM can sell 50,000 units of trucks at over a $3,000 markup. Doesn't mean its a bright spot.


By Iaiken on 5/27/2009 3:20:42 PM , Rating: 2
Warranty work costs are already factored into the cost of the car. Unless there is a serious design flaw that eats up that amount quickly across the fleet, then the profit margin would remain untouched.


By rs1 on 5/27/2009 4:49:30 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
GM can sell 50,000 units of trucks at over a $3,000 markup.


Unless you can show some recent sales figures to back that up, then I believe you are mistaken. If GM could sustain those kinds of numbers then they wouldn't be heading for bankruptcy after receiving billions of dollars in bailout funds.


By Fenixgoon on 5/27/2009 5:00:50 PM , Rating: 2
look no further than the second best selling vehicle in america for 2008:

the chevy silverado: 465,000 units. beaten only by 515,000 Ford F150's

GM can profit all it wants on trucks, but its other costs create a black hole for money. and as you might recall, even toyota has been posting losses this year as well. every auto manufacturer is hurting.


By rs1 on 5/27/2009 5:16:52 PM , Rating: 2
Not bad, though that does fall a bit shy of the 50,000 units per month mark. Still, if they can generate that kind of sales volume, then they must have some severe organizational issues to be in the kind of mess that they are.


By Spuke on 5/27/2009 5:36:44 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Not bad, though that does fall a bit shy of the 50,000 units per month mark.
Those numbers are just US sales not worldwide sales. The Prius sales are worldwide sales. You guys need to compare worldwide to worldwide.


By Spuke on 5/27/2009 5:37:25 PM , Rating: 2
Argh!!!! 50k units per month is worldwide. The 500k truck sales are US only sales.


By Alexstarfire on 5/27/2009 10:44:30 PM , Rating: 1
While true do you really think that many countries are going to import Ford and GM over Honda and Toyota? Even if talking about trucks.


By Sunrise089 on 5/28/2009 12:52:49 AM , Rating: 3
Right, I know I see all kind of Honda and Toyotas in the UK (for example). They've probably never heard of Fords there ;)


By Alexstarfire on 5/28/2009 4:08:23 AM , Rating: 1
I'm not sure if that was sarcasm, but if it was you can very kindly kiss my ass. That's not what I was saying at all and you know it.


By Spuke on 5/28/2009 12:16:23 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
They've probably never heard of Fords there ;)
Anecdotal. I've seen tons of Fords in the UK.


By 67STANG on 5/27/2009 5:05:38 PM , Rating: 3
$40 billion to be exact. They are talking about asking for $9 billion more on top of that. All that, and guess what.... they are still going to file for bankruptcy.

We might as well have used the money to buy monster cable or researching perpetual motion.


By JasonMick (blog) on 5/27/2009 6:06:57 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
We might as well have used the money to buy monster cable or researching perpetual motion.


Or purchasing Best But Geek Squad tech support services...


By BaronMatrix on 5/27/2009 7:34:52 PM , Rating: 2
Are you crazy or something? What could there possibly be about this article that's subjective? It looks like a manufacturing report to me.

I often wonder if Americans can be happy if they're not complaining or arguing about something.


By alphadog on 5/28/2009 11:23:43 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, arguing is so uniquely American! I mean, so many other places in the world behave with compassion, tolerance, and understanding. For example: China, Russia, Iran, Pakistan, Israel, France...


By dflynchimp on 5/27/2009 7:50:14 PM , Rating: 2
psh, don't you know the number one rule of reporting?

1. Objectivity doesn't sell...ever


NA Sales Figures
By TGIM824 on 5/27/2009 6:41:51 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sorry, I had to come out of retirement and post to this one.

You are way out there on your figures. 50K is more like yearly sales volumes and not monthly. My automotive analyst is getting the 2009 US Light Vehicle sales volumes for Q1 2009, I will post them as soon as I get them along with the 2009 SAAR.

I would predict: 1 - F150, 2 - Chevy Silverado, 3 - Dodge Ram, 4 - Honda Accord, and in 5th place Toyota Camry.

Why because Toyota just doesn't make the type of car Americans want to buy. And what vehicle is that, well from these figures I would say it's a pick-up truck, and no, not a Toyota pickup truck either. Oh, and Ford makes between $8K-$12K profit from every F150 sold. Same goes for Chevy and Chrysler on their trucks. It's not that people don't want to buy them, its that people are not willing to buy high ticket items in these uncertain times.

Now if you ran a company, and was looking at these sales figures, what type of vehicle would you build and market to the public? One that will sell 50K units per year, at $3.1K per vehicle profit or one that sells 500K at $8K to $12K per vehicle profit? That is why Toyota was trying so hard at making a real full size pickup for the past 4 years.
I am not sure what finance school Obama and Pelosi attended, but their plan for the US auto industry will crash and burn if they force Americans to stop buying pickup trucks (once again based on these sales figures).

Even at $4 per gallon gas last year, the top 10 selling vehicles for all of 2008 where:
* Ford F-Series: 515,513
* Chevy Silverado: 465,065
* Toyota Camry: 436,617
* Honda Accord: 372,789
* Toyota Corolla: 351,007
* Honda Civic: 339,289
* Nissan Altima: 269,668
* Chevy Impala: 265,840
* Dodge Ram: 245,840
* Honda CR-V: 197,279

April 2009
* Honda Accord: 29,212
* Ford F-Series: 28,757
* Chevy Silverado: 26,437
* Honda Civic: 26,252
* Toyota Camry: 25,324
* Toyota Corolla: 18,534
* Ford Fusion: 18,321
* Dodge Ram: 17,903
* Chevy Impala: 17,532
* Chevy Malibu: 14,665

March 2009
* Ford F-Series: 32,728
* Toyota Camry: 25,783
* Chevy Silverado: 23,508
* Honda Accord: 22,722
* Toyota Corolla: 22,257
* Honda Civic: 20,645
* Nissan Altima: 19,521
* Dodge Ram: 19,328
* Chevy Malibu: 14,772
* Honda CR-V: 12,959

Feb 2009
* Ford F-Series: 23,614
* Toyota Camry: 20,634
* Chevy Silverado: 19,788
* Toyota Corolla: 18,103
* Nissan Altima: 16,002
* Honda Accord: 15,976
* Honda Civic: 15,687
* Dodge Ram: 14,448
* Honda CR-V: 12,370
* Chevy Malibu: 11,516

There figures where hastily pulled from usnews.rankingsandreviews.com and reflect US light vehicle sales, not global.
I will post exact figures shortly.




RE: NA Sales Figures
By TGIM824 on 5/27/2009 7:14:54 PM , Rating: 1
Prius for month of Apr 8,385 YTD 21,757, down from 64,664 this time last year.

Ok, I lied, I am not sorting through the data, but keep in mind the figures already posted for top 10 are accurate.

I'll retract my 50K sounds more like yearly, and give it a global sales volume. However, the current Prius plant in Japan is at max capacity, with 15,000 vehicles coming to US per month. The new plant in MS is on hold.


RE: NA Sales Figures
By Jedi2155 on 5/27/2009 8:42:00 PM , Rating: 2
US Hybrid Sales for the past 5 years. Make your own judgments.
http://bioage.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8341c4fbe53ef011...


RE: NA Sales Figures
By powerincarnate on 5/27/2009 9:42:39 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Why because Toyota just doesn't make the type of car Americans want to buy. And what vehicle is that, well from these figures I would say it's a pick-up truck, and no, not a Toyota pickup truck either. Oh, and Ford makes between $8K-$12K profit from every F150 sold. Same goes for Chevy and Chrysler on their trucks. It's not that people don't want to buy them, its that people are not willing to buy high ticket items in these uncertain times.


I don't get the whole Americans don't want the type of car that Toyota Sells. First off, Trunks are number once in sales because a lot of them are for WORK, think all the small businesses and do it yourselvers who uses a pick up truck. American Trucks have always been well received and thus have always been the top selling vehicles.

Now, other than that, The Toyota Camry has been the number one Auto (non truck) in the US for a decade now. Ever since it passed the Ford Taurus. As last years numbers showed, the Camry was again the top selling non truck. And Toyota has the number 3 overal, the number 5 overall and the number 10 overall vehicle. Japanese companies again has 6 of the top 10 list. Again, if you take away Trucks, which Americans rule, The Japanese companies own 6 of the top 7 vehicles with only the Chevy Impala making an appearance.

Again, with the early 2009 sales, it looks like Trucks may be taken over by an auto this year, and again, it is Toyota camry with the accord close buy, and corrola, civic, and altima also having strong showings. Since trucks and gas guzzelers are on the way out, the Chevy Malibu is also making a showing, but clearly Toyota has the type of cars Americans want. They make the top Auto, they make the top Hybrid, They make the top selling Luxury Vehicle sedan in the US, and they make the top selling Luxury SUV in the RX in the US as well Not bad for Toyota.


RE: NA Sales Figures
By Spuke on 5/28/2009 12:34:00 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Since trucks and gas guzzelers are on the way out, the Chevy Malibu is also making a showing, but clearly Toyota has the type of cars Americans want.
Americans DO indeed want sedans but there are more American sedans than you mentioned in the top 10. The Ford Fusion, the aforementioned Chevy Malibu and the Chevy Impala are on the top 10 list.


RE: NA Sales Figures
By SpaceJumper on 5/28/2009 5:21:50 PM , Rating: 2
We are Americans do not want to drive boy's vehicles. Sorry world, we are the MAN, BIG MAN!!.


Plans to produce?
By Chaser on 5/27/2009 1:19:45 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Reportedly, Toyota initially planned to produce 42,000 to 43,000 vehicles per month, but has since raised its plans to 50,000 vehicles per month. Toyota says it has received at least 80,000 orders for the third-generation Prius, but declined to comment on reports that orders have since soared to 110,000 units. It is obvious, though, that in this bleak auto economy these well-designed hybrids are a rare bright spot.


Where? U.S., Japan, worldwide?




RE: Plans to produce?
By Jansen (blog) on 5/27/2009 2:19:37 PM , Rating: 5
The Prius is only produced in Japan.


RE: Plans to produce?
By encia on 5/28/2009 10:03:52 AM , Rating: 2
Prius is also being manufactured in China.

Refer to http://www.autoblog.com/2005/12/16/toyota-begins-p...


Its funny....
By rudolphna on 5/27/2009 4:18:19 PM , Rating: 3
How Jason manages to completely ignore the Ford Fusion Sedan, which has seen its sales INCREASE over the past couple months (one of very few). Bravo, mick, for being biased as usual.




RE: Its funny....
By matt0401 on 5/27/2009 4:50:57 PM , Rating: 2
This article is about the Prius. Somehow I doubt mentioning a Ford doing well as well (albeit not quite phenomenally) would be a high priority.


RE: Its funny....
By rudolphna on 5/27/2009 4:54:30 PM , Rating: 2
Well, I have seen many articles on DT where they at least mention other brands or things that are comparable, and doing well. This does not, and misleads the uninformed reader that the toyota prius is doing amazingly well, when really its sales are DOWN significantly, and that by extension, they must be selling the most.


RE: Its funny....
By matt0401 on 5/27/2009 5:19:32 PM , Rating: 2
Yes the sales are down significantly, but when other automakers are filing for bankruptcy it's possible for lower-than-normal sales to still be "good sales" compared to other automakers who couldn't pay people enough to take their crap cars off their hands.

Admittedly, I don't have numbers on hand to back up a claim that "Toyota has the greatest sales at this point in time." So I'm not going to make that claim. That doesn't change the fact that any automaker selling 50,000 of just one model of vehicle per month (with massive backorders) with a $3,000 profit margin is doing a good job, and is, as the article claims, a "rare bright spot" among a dull auto industry.


Details aside
By Xavier434 on 5/28/2009 8:29:34 AM , Rating: 1
Stepping away for a moment from all of the internet babble that you guys think is so important, I just wanted to say that I am really happy to see that the hybrids are finding its rightful place in the worldwide auto industry. They are either here to stay or they are here to be improved. Either way I am happy. Things will get better eventually and when they do I believe we will see a lot more fuel efficient vehicles like these roaming the streets.




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