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PSA: Toyota Prius has been Japan's top-selling car for 18 straight months

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PSA: Toyota Prius has been Japan's top-selling car for 18 straight months

by Jeremy Korzeniewski (RSS feed) on Dec 7th 2010 at 5:31PM


The Toyota Prius has been the top-selling vehicle in its home market of Japan since its redesign in 2009 for the 2010 model year, due partly to a series of incentives created by the Japanese government to promote fuel efficient vehicles – more specifically, hybrids. Those incentives ended in September, leading many to wonder if Toyota's hybrid hatchback could maintain its stranglehold atop the sales board.

Apparently, the answer is yes. According to data provided by the Japan Automobile Dealers Association and the Japan Mini Vehicles Association, Toyota managed to sell 21,400 Prius hybrids in November, more than enough to earn the fuel-sipper the top sales spot over the second-place Honda Fit (16,677 units).

It seems that the end of hybrid vehicle subsidies did take something of a toll on Prius sales, however. Though still on top, sales of Toyota's hybrid hatchback were down by just over 20 percent when compared to the same period one year ago, when the Japanese government's incentives were in full effect. Still, Toyota's green jellybean has enjoyed 18 months at the top and still has quite a few carlengths on the Fit, and that's nothing to be sneezed at.



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By Drew Johnson

Keep More Money in Your Pocket w/ a New Chevrolet Malibu. Get Info.


New car sales may be on a backwards slide in Japan, but the Toyota Prius is currently on pace to set the country’s all-time mark for the most sales in a single year.

The Toyota Corolla currently holds the Japanese record for most sales in a single year – setting the mark of 300,008 units back in 1990 – but the Prius is poised to unseat its Toyota brethren.

With one selling month left in the year, the Toyota Prius has already tallied 297,563 sales. Even if Japanese sales see a dramatic cool down during the month of December, the Prius should have no problem coasting past the 300,008 mark.

However, that Prius likely won’t be breathing down the neck of a new sales goal next year. The Japanese government has ended most of its new car incentive programs, with overall sales expected to tail off dramatically in 2011.



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