Toyota May Cut Prius c and Prius v from Lineup
Watch your backs—Toyota is on a killing rampage. After officially announcing that it would be giving Scion the axe (and no, it’s not just a rumor, ladies and gents; this is not a drill), rumor has it that Toyota is also toying with the idea of killing off the Prius v and the Prius c. The Prius v is Toyota’s larger station wagon Prius variant while the Prius c is the more compact option.
What’s the reasoning for this? According to Automotive News, simply put, Toyota was a little overly ambitious when predicting the popularity of the Prius. Back in 2011, Toyota predicted that the Prius would be its best-seller by 2020. However, with dropping gas prices and an improving economy, drivers who otherwise wouldn’t are now considering cheaper, non-hybrid models, and sometimes even SUVs or trucks.
Sales of the Prius just can’t outpace those of Toyota’s best-seller, the Camry. In fact, the Prius family can’t even eclipse the Corolla or RAV4, and the Tacoma pickup is even on the heels of the Prius in terms of sales. Make no mistake, however; the Prius is still a popular model, and it’s likely that part of the reason sales slowed in 2015 was because buyers have been awaiting the next-generation Prius in 2016. Still, it’s harder to see the merit in a whole family of Prius vehicles when the Prius alone would suffice for that specific type of buyer. The regular Prius liftback has, after all, accounted for two thirds of total US Prius family sales since 2011.
If a driver wants a hybrid larger than the Prius, there is always the RAV4 Hybrid, and if they want something smaller, well, perhaps the acquisition of Daihatsu means we’ll be seeing more Toyota minis on roadways in the coming years.
One thing is for sure, however. “Prius” has always been and will continue to be synonymous with “hybrid,” and that is not likely to change anytime soon.
News Source: Automotive News (subscription required)
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