Toyota Prius Kicked Off the Throne by Honda Fit

For the past 20 months or so in the row, through rough tides and recall storms, Toyota's flagship hybrid, the Prius, managed to lead the way in Japan, followed by a suite of other brands and models struggling to catch up.

Ironically, now that the recall fallout is beginning to fade away (despite the other major recall announced by Toyota in January, the industry seems to have forgotten last year's torments), the Prius lost the number one spot in Japan.

The model that managed to kick the Prius off its throne is the renewed Honda Fit/Jazz. The new Honda model managed to sell some 15,000 units in January, 1,000 units above the levels achieved by its arch rival in the sales charts.

For Toyota, however, coming in second for the first time in a long, long time, is no surprise. The Prius lost numbers consistently since the government subsidies ended in September, making one Toyota official say that the result for January “is in line with our expectations.''

For what it's worth, the months after months of being number one taught Toyota a lesson; if something works, multiply it. And so it will. During the North American International Auto Show at the beginning of the year, the car maker presented a whole line of Prius vehicles, with which Toyota hopes to conquer more segments of the international market.

Until those models are launched, it's likely Toyota will not go out of its way to make the Prius number one again. From that respect, Honda's joy might be short lived.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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