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Prius c: Hybrid is among hottest-selling small cars in years

Discussion in 'Prius, Hybrid, EV and Alt-Fuel News' started by Rybold, Mar 30, 2012.

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  1. Rybold

    Rybold globally warmed member

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    Keep reading more: Prius c: Hybrid is among hottest-selling small cars in years - latimes.com

    [​IMG]
    source: article above
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  2. Erikon

    Erikon Active Member

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    Toyota hit a sweet spot with pricing, styling and FE with the C! Hopefully they can ramp up production to take advantage of it!
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  3. spwolf

    spwolf Senior Member

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    if the gas prices continue to climb.....
    .... looking at nationwide stock numbers, there are 30% less Prius models in stock than last month, Despite increased shipments.
  4. Keiichi

    Keiichi Active Member

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    I wonder about also the stocks of the other Hybrid/EV based cars if they also have sharply gone down in the last couple of days. Price aside, it would, at least, give an indication of the general 'feeling' about the gas price levels.
  5. 2sk21

    2sk21 Member

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    Thinking about the Prius c cutting into the sales of other Toyota products - I would say that this is a good thing. At least the customer stays with Toyota. I was just reading some of Clay Christiansen works and he makes a good point that its better to disrupt your own products than to allow a competitor to do it.
  6. Keiichi

    Keiichi Active Member

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    Well, I wouldn't call it 'disrupting'... But definitely 'shifting' your paradigm. In the long term, you aren't going to win over people with a product that people aren't going to be 100% sold with. And the other product would work, but not at the price point you are trying to sell for.

    In one company, I know they tried to sell their 'higher cost' item at a lower price point to get more sales. My only problem with it, is that you are selling product named 'A' at one Price point... Now you want to sell product named 'A' at 1/4 of the price point you set. Not only is that a bad idea, but it is basically telling your customers who bought at the earlier price point, "Oh, by the way, thanks for the money, suckers..." To me, that doesn't instill 'brand loyalty'. While, yes, you will be eventually lowering a price of the product as time goes by, going from 100% to 25% of the price in like 2 months is not a way to make previous buyers feel the 'love'.

    What Toyota did here, though is within reason, phasing out one of their products with another product, even though, when you look at it, it may seem like a 'rebranding' or a renaming, to me it is more of a paradigm shift and making sure people who bought something of theirs doesn't get the impression that the change or hardware shift isn't like saying, "Ha, thanks for your money, you bought too soon because we had this new version of this product that has everything you bought, but standard and at a lower price."
  7. DeadPhish

    DeadPhish Senior Member

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    TMS will be able to tell what's going on because when the sale is 'registered' by the dealer the trade-in is also registered. In this way they can analyze whether this is a 'conquest sale' or a movement from one Toyota product to another.

    This is normally closely-guarded info which they divulge only in generalities; e.g. 60% conquest sales.
  8. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    I'm glad to hear about the Prius c's success.

    I've long advocated that the idea that a small car can't be succesful has been a fallacy.

    I'm a surban dweller, that ventures occasionally into the wild. But I admit I'm actually most comfortable in Mid-Size to Sub-Compact vehicles. I actually don't like driving anything much bigger.

    I often marvel in parking lots when I watch the single person, or couple in a HUGE SUV or Truck, as they struggle to back out of a parking spot. Obviously straining, moving forwards and backwards just to get out of the spot.

    And I wonder why they chose the gargantuan vehicle they chose?

    There are benefits and real advantages to having a smaller vehicle.

    And Yes, I realize their are enviroments and situations where large vehicles are needed. But it seems like some where "sub-compact" or "compact" became a dirty word to most people.

    With vehicles like Prius c, iQ, Smart Cars, and even Honda Fit...I hope that is changing.
  9. Keiichi

    Keiichi Active Member

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    People pick giant cars cause they want space. And of course it is hold over from the 70s and 80s where big == better when it comes to cars, even though sports cars are often times not huge.

    I think also a lot of us remember Police Academy where you see Bubba Smith, the giant football player turned Actor trying to fit into a compact car. It is basically the feeling that a compact car might not be comfortable or have all the nice things you would like in a car or bigger one.

    Of course not everyone uses all the features of a car. And when you think Compact, you are thinking Gremlin, the Mini-cooper, the mini-fiat cars or even the mini Volkswagen bug type cars. While the Newer Volkswagen bug looks a little better, you still can't help but feel like it seems a little lacking in something.

    The Scion type cars, somewhat turned it around. The Fit commercials I sort of question and the Nissan Cube which looks pretty horrid.
  10. RichardAK

    RichardAK Member

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    Even on the diesel truck forums there are a lot of comments about how foolish it is to use a such a vehicle as a daily driver or grocery getter...
  11. spwolf

    spwolf Senior Member

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    lets be realistic, reason B class of vehicles is selling in USA right now (Prius c, Yaris, Fit, Fiesta, Sonic, etc), is due to high price of gas.

    There is no other reason.

    We have scientific data to prove it - back in 2008, there was big shift to smaller cars when gas was priced high, but when it dropped what happened? Trucks became popular once again!

    I lived in deep south for a while and everyone had a big picup, T-100 was considered tiny even if it met needs of 98% of the buyers. Most people who drive pickups are not in construction and could do whatever they do with smaller car as well.

    Hey we have big construction market in Europe as well, and you barely ever see pickup truck here!
  12. Rybold

    Rybold globally warmed member

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    For the general public, that may be the primary reason, and I don't disagree.

    A coworker of mine recently traded in his Xterra for a Sonata. I was asking him what he thinks of it, simply to hear what he had to say (this is a guy that loves SUVs and talked down small cars and hybrids all the time). The first thing he said was that it drives so much nicer since it's closer to the ground, he doesn't have to move that huge mass when he makes a quick lane change, and the lack of big fat tires makes it more responsive. After that, he then said he likes the gas mileage a lot better.

    My point - is that although he switched to save money on gasoline on his long commute, now that he has the car he likes the handling and improved responsiveness the best.

    He also doesn't talk negatively about small cars and hybrids anymore. He does not have a hybrid, but perhaps now that he is less polarized, he is more accepting. Sure, not everyone is like him, but he does represent a certain percentage of society.

    PS - oh, by the way, when I asked him how much more the hybrid was, he knew the EXACT amount and told me he had calculated how long it would take him to earn that back. He said it didn't make sense for him. But my point here is that the Hybrid consideration was all about the monetary savings for him.
  13. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    I hope during their research, these prospective buyers see what kind of crazy mpg is achievable in th c. Some of our new members are putting up some high mpg tanks in the 58+ range. This is pretty impressive considering they are Prius newbies AND these are brand new cars with brand new tires and we have not even hit summer yet. :)
  14. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    Shhhh don't even start on that one!! Pickups are to Americans what tea and scones is to England, chop sticks to China, farming subsidies to the French.

    They don't make sense, they're ridiculous in many circumstances, but you just cannot argue against them having them. A panel van like a Ford Transit (not the small transit they get in the USA)[ame=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light_commercial_vehicle]Light commercial vehicle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame] would carry more but they just dont seem popular over there. A pickup has to be twice the size of a panel van as the side wall only comes half way up comparatively.

    Also, the Americans must be an honest bunch as I regret to say that anything of value in the back of a pickup here won't last 2 minutes. A van allows you to at least protect it from the light fingered as well as wet weather.

    But you just can't convince 'em ;) :focus:
  15. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney EditProfOptInfoCustomUser Title

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    Yes, high gas prices makes people downsize.

    However, a lot of it is related simply to "consideration". Prejudice makes people stick with what they know and it's only when they are stimulated to try something different that they get to experience reality or, importantly, improvements compared to the past.

    We read plenty of stories here of people who have "converted" friends to the Prius or who weren't thinking Prius but decided to test one anyway.

    With extra consideration the manufacturers now make an effort in the segment and with cars now well-equipped, for 1- and 2-person households (and some 3-person or even 4-person households as well) there's now less difference than ever between the B segment and (the very large) C segment.

    But in the case of the Prius c, what really helps is that its mileage brings the Prius economy to the B segment. Any PriusChat reader can have no doubt that it's cannibalizing Prius sales (although people might be buying higher-margin high packages) but it's also bringing in new buyers. What that tells us is that rather than having to up-size to get the best mileage, people now have the opportunity to right-size, which means that for many buyers, the real hybrid premium has now reduced from $7,000 to $4,000 or less.

    If high gas prices are sustained I feel that Toyota could feel the pressure to sell more Prius c here. The Yaris isn't especially competitive in the B segment and the Corolla's large sales are managed because it's cheap and because, fortunately for Toyota, Hyundai can't build enough Accents and Elantras. I'm sure they'd like to use shortages to upsell to the liftback, but the high Yen is putting pressure on the lower Prius packages and I don't think buyers will go from considering a higher c to paying another $3k to $4k for the comparable package of the liftback: I think Toyota would ship more Prius c Threes and Fours and hope to grab another $1k to $2k from impatient buyers.
  16. spwolf

    spwolf Senior Member

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    Actually, Toyota can not build enough Corolla's either :). Less than 30 day supply of Corolla as they dont import them from Japan and their new factory is not building enough of them yet.

    Problem with downsizing so far is that a lot of people went back to pickups as soon as gas dropped. I bet it will happen again if gas goes below $3.

    In Europe, gas is always a lot more expensive and nobody even dreams about driving gas guzzler. Honestly, you guys bit** and moan about that, but only thing that can save america from america is govt intervention. higher taxes on cars that will subsidize things like PHEVs, EVs and other alternative fuel vehicles.
  17. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    A friend's family are pipe fitter contractors, and recently mentioned they are actually getting a new truck for the family business, as opposed to an used beater. I asked if they considered a van. Along with a "vans are for house plumbers," a truck is just easier for them to load with the amount of pipe they use.

    Of course, large vans haven't changed design in decades for decades here, and are generally no fun to drive. I learned to drive in a Chevy Astro, which is just a shrunken version of the full size van, and I hated it. Even with the MB/Dodge Sprinter being available for years now, other companies are just following with new to us vans. The Transit is supposed to be available next year, and Nissan's large van is on lots now.

    Not to derail this thread, the c's success is mainly do to its fuel economy. While I was disappointed in its EPA rating, it is still a good bit higher than others in the B segment. But the B segment is still a small part of the automotive market. For many makes, their C car sells twice or more than their B car. With economy ratings close to each other, the larger size is considered worth the extra cash.

    C sales will likely start shifting to B as fuel economy trumps size in priority. Will Toyota be able to supply enough cs for that demand? Not only is it mpg champ, but the higher price won't be as daunting to former C segment shoppers.
  18. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    There is congnitive disonance. Some people that buy trucks will find reasons to think trucks are better, some that buy cars will do the same mental tricks.:) Long commutes are awful for trucks. I have lots of friends that love them and use them but it seems that guy needed a car all along.



    Damn mass media. How about emphasizing payback to the planet instead of the pocket book.:D
    +1





    Yes, this has been a big change. Some people chose C over B simply because B was made as cheap as possible. The versa is one of these cars. But the sonic is nicer equipped than amercan subcompact cars. Which is getting people to downsize. The prius c allows someone that wanted the gas mileage in a prius to downsize and spend less, and many don't care about the extra room, or the smart key, etc.


    Yes, that is exactly why many thought it would be a great seller.




    C segment and B segment get almost exactly the same fuel economy. The question is whether you can get the features you want in a B at a lower price. The B segment is growing.
  19. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North Staff Member

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    If there's a benefit for all with smaller cars is that we can fit more cars on the same amount of road.



    Well there are two solutions that are found here.

    One is a hard plastic (I forget the composition) cover that goes over the bed of the truck and can be folded away if you need to retrieve something (kinda like our foldable floor in the Prius).

    The other is a "canopy" that goes on top of the bed, doubling the size of the bed the somewhat secured cover is up to the height of the roof of the truck but it'll be hard to get stuff at the back of the bed. Also, visibility out the back window can't be that great.
  20. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    Truck cap or camper shell
    [​IMG]

    Tonneau cover
    [​IMG]

    There are many different version of both but these are the basic concepts. I know it's off topic but I was just helping Jon with his description of truck accessories. <<< former truck guy.
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