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Toyota Sells 1 millionth Prius in U.S.

Demand up - but so are prices, as shortages loom.

by on Apr.06, 2011

Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda with the Prius V hybrid during the Detroit Auto Show preview of the microvan.

Toyota Motor Sales has reported the one-millionth sale of the Toyota Prius, the first mass-produced gas-electric hybrid vehicle sold in the United States.

“Since the Prius went on sale eleven years ago not a year has gone by when it hasn’t been the number one selling hybrid vehicle in the U.S.,” said Bob Carter, Toyota Division group vice president and general manager.

Prius has become synonymous with the word hybrid, Toyota suggest, and as fuel prices have risen again, it has garnered a full 60% of the American market for gas-electric vehicles — but prices have gone up sharply, along with demand and the crisis in Japan could soon leave the maker short of demand.

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Though Prius remains the leader, the executive noted, it is now facing more competition than ever. Today, 13 different brands offer some form of gas-electric model, and most of the remaining marques, such as Volvo, plan to enter the market with some sort of hybrid offering within the next several years.