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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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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.

"It's okay. The scenarios aren't that clear. But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that." -- Bill Gates on the Apple iPad

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