Future of Prius, Toyota Hybrids Evolving
It’s hard to believe that it already has been five years since Toyota first debuted their plan to extend the Prius model line to feature new versions of the best-selling hybrid vehicle in history in an attempt to make it the best-selling vehicle of any type in the Toyota lineup, which also happens to be the best-selling brand in the United States. It was a lofty goal, but optimism was high right out of the gate that the smaller Prius C, the Prius V station wagon and the Prius Plug-In Hybrid would help make these things happen.
While that expansion product has been plenty successful in its own right, the landscape for hybrid vehicles has changed quite a bit over the course of the last few years, as have gas prices, which has kept models like the Camry, Corolla and RAV4 ahead of the Prius for total sales every year, and the chances are strong that this isn’t likely to change.
So what does Toyota plan to do with hybrid vehicles moving forward? Well, in an interview with Automotive News, Toyota Division general manager Bill Fay admitted, “Given all the changes in consumers’ preferences right now, I don’t think we’re forecasting the Prius to be our top seller anymore.” He added that while the C and V will continue on for now, they may not get second-generation updates, but that the hybrid engines therein are living on in the first-ever RAV4 Hybrid.
The sales of that vehicle will determine how the automaker moves forward in regard to the 2016 Toyota Prius and other hybrid models in the lineup. What we do know is that this model has been ridiculously popular over the course of its life, and even if Toyota does decide one day to axe either the C or the V, the popular gas-sipper isn’t going anywhere.