Surprise: Prius Makes A Statement About Buyer
Perhaps all those real environmentalists are right; the polls show that even those most obvious environmental consumers, the Prius drivers, are buying them for the wrong reasons, not to save the world but to make a statement. According to the New York Times:
"I really want people to know that I care about the environment," said Joy Feasley of Philadelphia, owner of a green 2006 Prius. "I like that people stop and ask me how I like my car." Mary Gatch of Charleston, S.C., chose the car over a hybrid version of the Toyota Camry after trading in a Lexus sedan. "I felt like the Camry Hybrid was too subtle for the message I wanted to put out there," Ms. Gatch said. "I wanted to have the biggest impact that I could, and the Prius puts out a clearer message."
Competitors have had little luck matching the cache of the Prius with Civic hybrids or Ford Escapes; even Toyota is having trouble with the hybrid Camry. Evidently when it comes to hybrids, "if you've got it, flaunt it." ::New York Times