Toyota Receives 75,000 Orders for the New Prius

With the hybrid battle still gaining attention every time it is brought back in the spotlights, Toyota and Honda, the two rival companies, announce enthusiastic results for their Prius and Insight hybrids, respectively. After some reports unveiled that Honda has won the battle in the United Kingdom, the Nikkei business daily today wrote that the Prius manufacturer has received 75,000 orders for its own hybrid.

Toyota hasn't confirmed the news but the third-generation Prius is expected to go on sale in July, with the hybrid expected to cause quite a stir among those interested in buying a green car.

But Honda's Insight is still expected to challenge the Prius, as it managed to become the best selling passenger car in April 2009, according to a press release launched by Honda in early May.

The company delivered a total of 10,481 hybrids last month and "it is the first time in history for a hybrid model to be the industry's best selling vehicle in Japan for any monthly sales period," as the Japanese manufacturer said.

"Since its introduction on February 6, 2009, the all-new Insight has been very well received by a wide range of customers due to its excellent environmental performance, easy-to-use packaging, light and comfortable driving and affordable pricing," it added.

But Toyota still has a backup plan in case the Insight proves to be so hard to beat that the Prius can't rise up to the challenge: it will debut a low-priced hybrid, based on a small-car platform it already offers.

"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 unveiling 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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