Featured As Camry and Prius sales tumble, Toyota ramps up SUVs like the RAV4 and Highlander

Discussion in 'Prius, Hybrid, EV and Alt-Fuel News' started by Marine Ray, May 17, 2017.

  1. Marine Ray

    Marine Ray Senior Member

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  2. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Titanic Social Director

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    Doesn't like my AdBlock, oh well. Anyway:

    I was just thinking about 4th gen sales in Vancouver, yesterday. This was out walking the dog, a consuming factor in our life now, lol. We did see a RAV4 hybrid, in a mall lot.

    I can count the 4th gen's I've see on one hand, and that includes one demo at nearby dealership. A service writer told me they are bring them only when asked, with potential buyer lined up.

    That sounds about right: I've been in the dealership about 3~4 times since the advent of the 2016, apart from the solitary demo, nary a Prius on the lot.
     
  3. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

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    I had considered an after retirement job as a car salesman because most salesmen aren't very good about hybrids. Then they mentioned number one in Camry and realized it was not for me.

    Bob Wilson
     
  4. Moving Right Along

    Moving Right Along Active Member

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    Same thing here, Mendel. I've only seen a couple of Gen 4s, but the Gen 2s & 3s are everywhere. Wouldn't surprise me if the Primes overtakes the "regular" Gen 4s once Toyota ramps up production. I think traditional hybrids like the Prius are losing their cachet to plug-in hybrids and full electrics. Add to that the continued popularity of sport utilities & crossovers, and it means less interest in traditional hybrids from both the mainstream and eco communities.
     
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  5. Marine Ray

    Marine Ray Senior Member

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    Once gas prices start creeping up, we'll look like genii with our Prii. :)
     
  6. Montgomery

    Montgomery Senior Member

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    Here in SoCal, Hyundai is advertising on radio the new Ioniq as "A real Hybrid". They also state in the commercials the Ioniq gets 59 miles per gallon, "without sacrficing performance". The radio commercials have upbeat music in the background, a deep masculine announcer's voice and wording that is directly pointed to discredit the Prius, without mentioning the Prius specifically. It is a full blown attack on Toyota.
     
  7. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

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    So sales aren't so good?

    Bob Wilson
     
  8. DonDNH

    DonDNH Senior Member

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    I wonder if any Ioniq owners are actually getting the advertised 59MPG. Fuelly users seem to be getting 58 and fewer miles per gallon.
     
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  9. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

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  10. bhtooefr

    bhtooefr Senior Member

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    Well, Hyundai is aiming at new hybrid buyers, so you'll have a lot of people that need to unlearn bad habits regarding aggressive braking. (That's one reason, actually, that I got amazing efficiency out of my Gen 4 right out of the box - I've always prioritized preserving momentum and gentler braking, which means that my braking habits were already well-tuned to a hybrid's requirements.)

    Also, it's being pushed as the sportier alternative to a Prius, also encouraging more aggressive driving styles.
     
  11. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Those first couple months of Ioniq sales weren't near as good as the Niro's, but then it is a hybrid car in a low fuel price, cute 'ute market.

    With the different trims having two different EPA ratings, a double hump might be normal. Then the cars outside of North America might be less efficient to begin with.

    The Ioniq is currently about even with the gen4 Prius on Fuelly. Not good in light of the EPA rating being better, but not as bad as the rating difference appears isn't that great.
    With a transmission to encourage that.
     
  12. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

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    We've seen that result in some Prius buyer's remorse. One example could not figure out why driving a Prius like a TDI doesn't work . . . or they really wanted a TDI.

    Bob Wilson
     
  13. bhtooefr

    bhtooefr Senior Member

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    Back on the original topic of the thread, it's not all that surprising that crossovers are killing cars in the US - we saw this happen before in the 1990s, really, as the minivan and station wagon got displaced by body-on-frame SUVs, and then the modern crossover grew from Toyota and Honda following that market trend with the RAV4, CR-V, and RX. The mid 2000's oil crisis ended it then, but oil got cheap, and the unibody crossovers are more efficient.

    And, there's the market stigma against minivans (which has prevented compact MPVs like the Mazda5 or Prius v from being successful here, outside of the Transit Connect in its delivery vehicle role, where it effectively replaced the Ranger), and the almost complete absence of conventional wagons (the list consisting of, as far as I'm aware, the Golf SportWagen, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class wagon, and the Volvo V60 and V90, the last of which is special-order only). So, if you want more utility than a sedan (liftbacks being rare especially in the midsize segment), you're looking at a crossover.

    What I find more interesting is reports that the crossover is starting to eat away at the European market, which has historically been far more receptive to wagons and MPVs, partially for efficiency reasons - the somewhat improved packaging of a MPV compared to a crossover means you can get a somewhat smaller, more efficient one to do the same job, and a wagon can blow a crossover away on efficiency.

    I think that leaves Asia as the last market where the crossover isn't dominant over the van? And, wagons aren't that popular in that region...
     
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  14. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Titanic Social Director

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    Way more than 50% of the vehicles on the road up here are something other than sedan or lowish hatchback. The majority of the "opposition" being CUV, then SUV's, vans, trucks, what have you. Ready for Armageddon, lol.
     
    #14 Mendel Leisk, May 17, 2017
    Last edited: May 17, 2017
  15. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    I think part of it is successful marketing of AWD. Nearly all SUVs and crossovers have it as an option, but few actual cars do. Then the only minivan to offer it is the Sienna.
     
  16. bhtooefr

    bhtooefr Senior Member

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    Well, the Chrysler minivans used to have AWD, until Stow 'n Go took up the space for the driveshaft in 2005.
     
  17. Marine Ray

    Marine Ray Senior Member

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    Now Chrysler has a hybrid minivan. We'll see where that goes. After previously owning a minivan because of kids, I think a hybrid minivan is a good idea. But the cost !
     
  18. RJS5586

    RJS5586 Junior Member

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    IMO, I think this all has to do with consumer confidence. With gas prices running just over $2/gallon, it is easier to justify an SUV or a pickup. If we have another 2008 when gas was running up to $4/gallon, there will be a lot of pain at the pump and people will gravitate toward more fuel efficient vehicles again.
    When gas prices spiked in '08, I had just bought a new Camry right before it happened. Kicked myself for not getting that Prius back then. FF 10 years, I got the Prius and am ready for the next spike (y)
     
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  19. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Not surprised. Here in Canada, marketing has done very well - You need AWD o_O. Why buy winter tires when you have can have AWD. (and if you lease a car, that makes sense. Why would you spend on an extra set of tires if you were gonna return the car after 3 years?). Get an AWD model instead.

    Although I'll admit, it's nice to have ground clearance as some parts of the country, you need it to get out of the residential area and onto the main road - there isn't enough snow removal budget to clear all the roads so the city just focuses on main thoroughfare, leaving the residential streets unplowed. If there are enough storms (or one large one) such that snow piles up, you won't get out in a traditional passenger car.

    Plus, I think Toyota hit the sweet spot with the RAV4 Hybrid. It's well priced, well equipped and has near-zero compromises (just a weaker AWD system vs. the regular RAV4 and a slight step in floor height near the rear seats but there's fold that creates a slope if you need to slide things in)
     
  20. bhtooefr

    bhtooefr Senior Member

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    It's also interesting that the automakers have successfully tied "AWD" and "SUV" (whether it's body-on-frame with solid axles and a transfer case, or unibody FWD-based reactive AWD, or something in between) together here, whereas in Japan, everything is available with AWD - vans, kei cars, even the Prius Liftback.
     
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