Prius Sales Have Best March Ever

Business is booming for automakers, thanks to rising gas prices, pent up demand (the average car on the road is 10 years old) and a recovering economy, which is boosting confidence and loosening credit.

And cars with high fuel economy are the best sellers.

For March, sales rose for Chrysler 34% year-over-year (y/y), GM 12%, and Ford 5%, all saying they hit records.

Toyota USA sold almost 204,000 vehicles in March, its highest sales since 2008, and up 15.4% y/y. It sold 487,284 vehicles in the first quarter.

It’s best selling vehicles were Camry and Prius, both hitting records.

Camry and Camry Hybrid sales rose 30.5% y/y in their best-ever March, selling 42,567 units.

And Prius "family" sales hit an all-time high at 28,711 units, up 48.8% y/y. The "family" now includes the new Prius c subcompact, plug-in Prius, Prius v wagon and the classic Prius.

The Prius c five-door hatchback went on sale March 12, and in its first three days on the market, 1,200 units sold, making it one of Toyota’s fastest selling cars. It’s rated at 50 mpg combined city/highway and costs about $19,000.

Since March 1, the Prius Plug-in is available in 15 states and will go on sale nationally next year: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.

In terms of fuel economy, EPA rates the Prius c as the top car in the compact category and the Prius Liftback, with combined 50 mpg as the leader in the midsize category.

  • Prius c: 53 city, 46 hwy
  • Prius: 51 city, 48 hwy
  • Prius v: 44 city, 40 hwy
  • Camry Hybrid LE: 43 city, 39 hwy
  • Camry Hybrid XLE: 40 city, 38 hwy
  • Scion iQ: 36 city, 37 hwy

Toyota’s goal is to sell 220,000 Prius vehicles in the US this year, up from 136,463 in 2011.

Along with the Honda Civic, the Prius has the highest indoor air quality in the industry.

Visit EPA’s fuel economy website for ratings on all vehicles:

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