US: Prius demand passes 2012 target of 220,000

By Graeme Roberts | 11 May 2012

Toyota Motor plans to boost supplies of its Prius hybrid in the US as demand exceeds the initial target of 220,000 vehicles for 2012.

According to Bloomberg News, sales of Prius models, the core liftback model and new V wagon, C subcompact and plug-in liftback, rose 56% year on year to 86,027 units to the end of April.

The increasing demand for the vehicle is due to rising petrol prices which recently passed US$4 a gallon nationally but have been dropping a little.

Bob Carter, Toyota's US sales chief, said: "We're tracking well ahead of [220,000]. I've ordered additional production. I'm confident we'll get additional production but globally we're seeing high demand, particularly in Japan."

Japan has seen a hike in Prius sales due to new government incentives for fuel efficient vehicles. Carter said Toyota's US unit may end up getting fewer units than it wants.

"It's too early to project any of those types of numbers. We don't have production confirmed at this time," he said.

The Prius is built in Japan and models for China are assembled there.