Toyota Prius Remains No. 1 in Japan

Despite all the media frenzy stirred across the world by the quality issues in Toyota and Lexus vehicles, the Prius hybrid remain the best selling car in Toyota's home market, after the carmaker announced it sold 27,000 hybrids in February. This marks the tenth consecutive month when the Prius leads the pack of cars sold in Japan.

"The reaction within Japan has been very calm," Japan Automobile Dealers Association spokesman Kentaro Nakata was quoted as saying by DetNews. Cancellations of Prius orders are extremely rare, he said. "There are people waiting to snatch up the car. The Prius is seen as the pioneer of hybrid technology, and its brand image is solid."

"Sales aren't likely to taper off until next year," Mamoru Katou, analyst with Tokai Tokyo Research told the source about the Prius. "Sales are going strong despite the big fuss, although there are some cancellations."

Following the Prius, the Honda Fit sold nearly half of the amount managed by the Prius: 14,000 units. The direct Honda competitor for the Prius, the Insight, shamed its makers by ranking 24th on the chart.

Fortunately or not, the counter-performance is due to Honda cannibalism, as the recently launched CR-Z hybrid took the spotlight in the minds of Japanese buyers. Still, the Insight managed to sell 100,000 units locally since it was introduced in April 2009.

According to Honda's data, the CR-Z stole some 5,000 buyers away from the Insight. Honda plans to sell 1,000 CR-Zs a month.
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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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