Toyota scored a quick victory in 2011 as U.S. deliveries of its Prius v wagon in 10 weeks topped sales of Chevrolet Volt plug- in hybrid for the entire year.
Toyota sold 8,399 of the hybrid wagon, which didn’t arrive at U.S. dealerships until the last week of October, said Carly Schaffner, a spokeswoman for the company. GM delivered 7,671 rechargeable Volts in 2011 and 7,997 in the model’s first 13 months on the market.
“Prius v is off to a great start,” Jim Lentz, president of Toyota’s U.S. sales unit, said in an e-mail statement yesterday, without elaborating. The hybrid wagon starts at $26,400, Toyota said on its website. The Volt starts at $39,145 and is eligible for as much as $7,500 in federal tax credits.
Toyota, the largest gasoline-electric auto seller, wants to deliver 220,000 vehicles bearing the Prius name this year to U.S. customers, a 60 percent increase from 2011. That’s to be fueled by a four-car “family” consisting of the original hatchback, the v, the Prius c subcompact arriving in March, and a plug-in Prius that goes about 15 miles on battery power.
In addition to Prius sales, Toyota also sold 9,241 hybrid midsize Camry cars and 14,381 Lexus CT200h gas-electric compact luxury wagons in the model’s first calendar year.
The Prius v wagon, larger and heavier than a standard Prius, averages 42 miles per gallon of gasoline in combined city and highway driving, compared with 50 mpg for the main version. The Volt, capable of going 35 miles on battery power, has two U.S. fuel-economy ratings: 94 mpg-equivalent when both its lithium-ion pack and gasoline engine are used, and a combined 37 mpg when powered solely by gasoline.