Toyota Prius Becomes Top Selling Vehicle in California
January 23, 2013 11:20 AM
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Ford's F-Series only manges seventh place
The Prius is often the butt of automotive jokes for its oddball styling, pokey acceleration, and tree-hugging persona, but it appears that Toyota is having the last laugh -- at least in California. When the sales numbers were tallied up for 2012, the Prius reigned supreme as the best-selling vehicle in California with 60,688 units sold. In fact, over one-quarter of all
sold in the United States for 2012 were purchased in California.
Economical cars from Toyota and Honda made up the top five sold cars in California with the Civic, Camry, Accord, and Corolla taking second, third, fourth, and fifth place respectively. The
, which is the best-selling vehicle for the entire United States, only managed to place seventh on the sales list in California.
Toyota's Prius is rated at 51/48/50 (city/highway/combined), which makes it a perfect fit for California's congested highways.
“Environmental consciousness and changing trends are large contributors,” said Peter Welch, Chief Executive of the California New Car Dealers Association. “Eight years ago everyone was driving sport utilities and trucks, now it’s almost trendy to drive a fuel-efficient hybrid or plug-in.”
Toyota's Prius may be sitting high on its throne right now, but there are plenty of challengers to its hybrid dominance. Volkswagen is looking to win over some consumers who aren't sold on its
TDI diesel engines
, and Ford has two competent hybrids -- the Fusion Hybrid and the C-MAX -- in its stable that promise 47 mpg combined (although
real world results
All three of the aforementioned models achieve lofty fuel economy numbers with conventional styling that is more appealing to the masses.
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1/23/2013 1:22:55 PM
To bring an alternate perspective to this, I think it has to do more with weather. I was born and raised in the Bay Area (Born in San Jose, grew up in Santa Clara) and just moved from just north in Santa Rosa so I know how the traffic is. It isn't great by any means, but it's also not the worst. I currently live about 10 miles from D.C. in Maryland and I much prefer the traffic back home then here. I've also lived up in CT and it turns out the traffic is absolutely atrocious in New York at rush hour and Boston is a mess, it is the reality of living near a city.
Back to the topic at hand though, I didn't own a Prius back in Cali (I had a sports car) but I did have a motorcycle that got 70 MPG and because you can split lanes legally in Cali its perfect for commuting. The thing is though, I could ride my motorcycle year round there without a problem, I cant do that here. Because of that I swapped the car for a truck when I moved here so I have the 4 wheel drive for when I need it and the motorcycle when I don't. As for the Prius, I would never own one, but for people who want to buy one it makes sense in Cali where you can drive it year-round without any issues, whereas I wouldn't want one where it snows at all ever. Also, hybrids offer the best benefits in stop/go traffic so if you have an easy commute there is little reason to by one.
The other issue is that a lot of people in Cali are too worried about image than they should be, so instead of doing actual things to help the environment (like reducing consumption) or helping the poor (like volunteering at a soup kitchen) they buy Prius's and talk about all of the problems in the world (while offering no solutions) and live in this cloud of smugness. Don't get me wrong, I love the state and it will always be my home, but sometimes I need to just get away from the people. Prius drivers were my favorite because they would give me crap for my V-series car and how its such a waste, then I would inform them that my combined mileage (due to my motorcycle being my primary driver) was better then theirs and how it produces much less waste material when I'm done with it.
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