Sunday, January 08, 2006

Toyota's Hybrid Prius help keep the Green image

Toyota offers a fair number of gas guzzling SUVs and large pickups. However, they have managed to keep their image clean by featuring fuel effiencient vehicles such as the Prius Hybrid. Toyota started focusing on Hybrid by in the 1990's, their cars offer distinctive aerodynamic styling and feature vehicles that get almost 60 miles per gallon (MPG).

At first naysayers called hybrids nothing more than a glorified marketing strategy. Most experts felt that customers would not pay the premium price for a vehicle just based on the operating costs savings. However, consumers flocked to hybrids, could it be a trend or a feel good factor that drives the sales. Also, taking a $3000 hit on the price of the car happens once when you buy it, however, most people buy gas once or twice a week and when gas was at $3.40 a gallon driving your SUV made you feel bad every week.

The Toyota Prius sold more thand 100,000 units in 2005, outselling entire brands such as Suzuki, Audi, Hummer, and Mini. Toyota will expand it hybrid presense to the Highlander, camry and Lexus. The popularity is reinforced by the success of the Ford Escape Hybrid whose demand is greater than Ford's capacity to build them.

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