Toyota’s new Prius C is proving to be the little hybrid that could – and that’s leading the automaker to ramp up production of the newest member of its Prius “family.”
The C is a compact gas-electric model that went on sale earlier this month, joining the original Prius hatchback and the larger Prius V introduced last year – with a plug-in version of the original Prius to follow later this year.
With a base price of $19,710, the Prius C is the least-expensive full hybrid on the market and the only compact to share the familiar Prius badge. That’s significant in a market that has – despite near-record fuel prices – so far been reluctant to embrace hybrids, the technology last year accounting for less than 3% of total U.S. new vehicle sales, but the Prius badge emblazoned on one of every two hybrids purchased in the country.
(Click Here for our Toyota Prius C review.)
The timing of the Prius C launch could not have been better, analysts say, and the new model generated 1,200 sales in just its first five days on the market – albeit many of those customers had placed orders some time back and were simply waiting for delivery. While it remains to be seen if the momentum will be maintained, Toyota appears to be quite optimistic.