TORRANCE, Calif. (April 6, 2011) — Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc., which has struggled in the past year with vehicle recalls and quality issues, has a touch of brighter news, announcing that it has sold the one-millionth Toyota Prius, its hybrid gas-electric vehicle, in the U.S.
The auto maker said it is “the third milestone for Toyota's hybrid lineup in the last six months,” beginning with the announcement of worldwide Toyota Prius sales topping 2 million in October 2010 and overall global Toyota hybrid sales passing 3 million last month.
Since the Prius went on sale 11 years ago, “not a year has gone by when it hasn't been the No. 1 selling hybrid vehicle in the U.S. Prius has become synonymous with the word hybrid,” according to Bob Carter, Toyota Division group vice president and general manager, “and as we see fuel prices starting to rise again, it has accounted for more than 60 percent of hybrid passenger car sales so far this year.”
The third-generation Prius topped the Environmental Protection Agency's list of the Most Fuel Efficient Vehicles for 2011, Toyota said, noting that more than 97 percent of all Toyota Prii—yes, that's the plural of Prius—sold since 2000 are still on the road.
The car company debuted its Prius v in January at the 2011 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The vehicle goes on sale in the year's third quarter and, in early 2012, Toyota said it plans to launch the Prius c compact hybrid vehicle and Prius Plug-in Hybrid vehicle.