Yes, 2001. PriusChat was founded in 2003 so there aren't many Gen 1 Prius news or test drives posted in this forum. I just happen to come across this one and thought I 'd share it. Or treat it as an early "Throwback Thursday".
The article seems to suggest Mazda doesn't think it can sell hybrids to private (ie. not government or corporate fleet) buyers, despite Toyota making a lot of claims lately of increasing sales to this segment, particularly with the locally manufactured Camry Hybrid.
Note that at the time of posting this, the article contains a significant inaccuracy regarding Prius sales, with the number reported there less than half the real figure and even fewer than the number of Prius c's sold in 2012 alone, when they weren't even on sale for the whole year. I have submitted a comment to that effect, so it may well be corrected in due course.