Worldwide Prius Sales Top 2 Million, 2 New Variants Rumored for 2012

prius sales chart image

Image: GCC, based on Toyota data
2 Million Served, and Counting...
It was only a couple years ago that I wrote about Toyota reaching the 1 million mark for worldwide Prius hybrid sales. What took about 8-11 years to do (depending on when you start counting, the Prius was first introduced in Japan in 1997, but in low volumes) took only 2 years to do again: Toyota is now celebrating its second million Priuses sold in more than 70 countries. But that's not the only Prius news, there are also pretty solid rumors about 2 new Prius models, one bigger, and one smaller.
prius sales chart image

Image: GCC, based on Toyota data
Worldwide Prius sales have been buoyed since 2009 by the introduction in Japan of a government subsidy for green cars that propelled Prius to be the top-selling car in Japan for 17 months in a row. In 2007, sales in Japan represented 21% of all Prius sales worldwide and in 2008, 26%. In 2009, that share jumped to 52%, and for Jan-Sep 2010, the figure is 63%.

Conversely, North America accounted for 65% of worldwide Prius sales in 2007; 57% in 2008; 36% in 2009; and 26% for Jan-Sep 2010. The subsidy expired on 7 September, and Prius sales in Japan fell 14.2% on the year to 27,249 units for the month. (source)

Expanding the Prius Family
The Wall Street journal is reporting that Toyota is planning to launch two new Prius models in 2012, according to "people briefed by the company". One would be smaller, abou the size of the Yaris, and the other would be bigger, about the size of a SUV (though if could take the shape of a full wagon, a kind of minivan, or a crossover -- we don't know yet).

This should come at about the same time as the plug-in version of the Prius hybrid, which will have an upgraded lithium-ion battery pack and be able to drive for 13 miles on electricity alone.

More on Toyota Hybrids
Toyota to Build Yaris Hybrid in France in 2012
Daimler May License Toyota's Hybrid Technology
The Lexus CT 200h Hybrid Disappoints on MPG (Wake Up Toyota!)

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