Toyota Axes Prius Prices to Meet Insight Standards

Although a number of rumors claimed the Japanese automaker might consider rolling out a new and more affordable hybrid model to compete with Honda's Insight, Toyota is now trying a different market strategy: it will slash prices for its over-discussed Prius model and bring it closer to its most powerful rival.

According to Autonews, the entry-level Prius will be priced at 2.05 million yen ($20,750) in Japan, close to the cheapest Honda Insight. Details regarding prices in the United States are unavailable at this point but we're expecting an aggressive campaign as well as the Japanese automaker is currently experiencing difficult times in this particular side of the market. The third-generation Toyota Prius is expected to go on sale next month, with the initial price going as much as $24,000. The Insight was rolled out last month at a starting price of $20,470, including delivery taxes.

Toyota has already informed authorized dealership about the new pricing strategy, the aforementioned source added, but the company's official could not be reached for comments.

The Japanese automaker last month said it is developing a low-priced hybrid to take on Honda Insight, with Yaris and Auris likely to get less-polluting versions for this particular flavor.

"We are developing a low-priced hybrid vehicle like Honda's Insight," Akihiko Otsuka, chief engineer of the redesigned, third-generation Toyota Prius, said. "We are going to compete by expanding our hybrid-vehicle lineup to smaller hybrids, in the class of the Vitz and Yaris," he said without providing details on the official launch date.

"The Auris platform was designed so it could also carry a hybrid system," Otsuka said. "By making it flexible, it can accommodate future overseas production and reduce costs."
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
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Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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