Toyota: Prius Will Be Number One in the US by 2020

Toyota surprised the international auto press when it announced it will unveil a Prius family of hybrid vehicles at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show. But now the idea is starting to make sense, after the company announced it believes its hybrid will be the most popular car in America by 2020.

“We will end the decade with Prius being the number one nameplate in the industry,” Toyota’s U.S. VP of Sales, Bob Carter, was quoted as saying by Bloomberg. Toyota aims to do this without losing sales on its Camry model, which is currently the best selling car on the US market. The Camry “will be a close second, and that's not because there will be a drop in Camry sales,” he said.

In order to reach its sales targets, Toyota will expand the Prius name to cover a whole line of vehicles, which will be previewed at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) on January 10th. The most expected is a larger Prius with more room inside, that will be similar to an MPV. Toyota also plans to bring a plug-in version of the Prius to the market this year.

With sales of 125,289 Prius models through November on the U.S. market, the carmaker is also the world's largest maker of gasoline-electric cars. But the Prius is still a long way from matching the Camry at 296,581 units sold in the same period. The hybrid is currently the number one seller in Japan for the past 19 consecutive months with 315,000 units shifted.

autoevolution will be attending the 2011 NAIAS, so stay tuned for some real up close and personal shots of the vehicles, as well as for first-hand details of the motorized contraptions presented at the event.
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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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