Instead of trying to build different hybrid cars, Ohnsman at Bloomberg is predicting Toyota will simply expand the Prius nameplate. For instance, they might build a slightly different (read smaller) Prius for city driving.
Toyota Motor Corp., the world's top seller of gasoline-electric autos, may turn its Prius car into a line of vehicles as the company tries to triple annual U.S. sales of hybrids.
The U.S. will account for more than half of the 1 million hybrid cars and light trucks Toyota plans to sell worldwide each year by early next decade, Jim Lentz, executive vice president of the company's U.S. sales unit, said yesterday. Prius-based models might include a wagon and a smaller car, he said.
``For us to do 600,000, there will probably have to be Prius and derivatives of Prius that are selling in the neighborhood of 300,000 to 400,000,'' Lentz said in an interview at the Specialty Equipment Market Association trade show in Las Vegas. ``We don't have any plans to do that right now, but that's the direction that nameplate can go, because it is that strong.''