June 8, 2006
Toyota Prius worldwide sales top 500,000
Torrance, California – Toyota announced that the Toyota Prius, the world’s first mass-produced gas-electric hybrid vehicle, has surpassed one-half million worldwide cumulative sales with 504,700 units sold as of the end of April.
Toyota launched the Prius in late 1997 in Japan. Its popularity in Japan encouraged the launch of Prius in the U.S. and Canada in July 2000. The first-generation U.S. Prius was a low-volume unit (12,000 produced annually) that gained an immediate following, particularly among environmentally conscious consumers. The second-generation U.S. model was launched in the Fall of 2003 as a 2004 model year. The all-new 2004 Prius came with larger dimensions, all-new styling, and featured Hybrid Synergy Drive, Toyota’s newest hybrid technology. Heavy consumer demand for the Prius triggered multiple increases in production.
By 2005 Toyota was producing over 100,000 units annually for the U.S. market. The Prius had propelled itself from a niche environmental car into the mainstream car market. In 2005, calendar year sales of Prius in the U.S. reached more than 107,000 units sold, making Prius the third-best selling Toyota passenger car after the Camry and Corolla.