Toyota tries to sell Prius’ where tractors are sexy.

Discussion in 'Toyota Prius Family' started by xcel, Oct 7, 2007.

  1. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    "With gas at $2, hybrids didn't make sense to me," said Mr. Coudriet, who owns a Corvette, two Harley-Davidson motorcycles and other vehicles. "But gas keeps going up."

    [xfloat=right][/xfloat]Gina Chon - Wall Street Journal - Oct. 3, 2007

    With over 1,000,000 sold worldwide since its introduction, Prius’ are making in roads into the heartland where NASCAR fans dominate the landscape.

    INDIANAPOLIS -- Over the roar of engines that get as little as four miles per gallon, a woman with a microphone asked a crowd milling inside a Toyota exhibit at a Nascar race here, "Does anybody know how much we spend on imported gas?"

    "Too much," said a man in a T-shirt that read, "She Thinks My Tractor is Sexy." Not exactly, but not too far off: $800 million a day. Some of the racing fans -- in shirts and hats bedecked with the sponsor logos ubiquitous on the Nascar circuit -- shook their heads in dismay or swore at the answer.

    So it goes as Corp. -- maker of the best-selling gas-electric hybrid car, the Prius -- campaigns to break out of the blue states and into the red with its green message.

    With a 53-foot aqua-blue trailer filled with exhibits on energy consumption and fossil fuels, Toyota is making 150 stops at many venues where pickups, SUVs and cars sporting Detroit brands have reigned. Dubbed the "Highway to the Future" tour, it is making stops in places like Des Moines, Iowa; Livingston, Mont., and Chattanooga, Tenn.

    "We've won over a certain group of people but we needed to talk to more and get the information out there," said , Toyota's national manager of advanced technology vehicles. "With this tour, we're reaching people that we've never reached before."

    Propelled in part by gasoline prices hovering near $3 a gallon, sales of the Prius have surged 69% this year compared with a year ago. Toyota is on track to surpass its goal of selling 150,000 Prius’ this year, about 50,000 more than it has sold in past years. The Prius is beating models like the Ford Fusion sedan in sales and is now Toyota's fourth best-selling model, after the Camry and Corolla sedans and the Tundra pickup.

    Still, hybrid vehicles overall remain a niche product, mainly purchased by affluent consumers on the coasts. Hybrids of all kinds made up just 1.5% of all new vehicle sales in 2006, with the Washington, D.C., area, Oregon and California ranking in the top three for the highest percentage of hybrids sold among new cars, according to R.L. Polk & Co … [rm][/rm]
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2007

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