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The Rise And Fall Of The Toyota Prius

The Rise And Fall Of The Toyota Prius


The Toyota Prius was the world’s
first mass produced hybrid car, and it still might be the
most famous of all time. But in recent years it has become
a victim of a changing market and perhaps its own success. The nameplate was once synonymous with
hybrids and a symbol of the automotive future. The Prius catapulted Toyota to the
lead of the hybrid market and showcased the innovative prowess of
a manufacturer are often reputed to be conservative, even
a bit boring. But now sales of the Prius
are falling after Prius took off, rivals took notice and
competition has grown. Gas prices have also fallen and
engines have become more efficient, making hybrids a tougher
sell for many customers. And with fully electric vehicles from
makers such as Tesla now capturing the attention of
buyers and automakers. The trailblazing Toyota Prius is no
longer the cutting edge of eco conscious driving. Hybrids are not going
away anytime soon. But the question for Toyota is does
the Prius brand still have a bright future and what
does that look like? It is important to understand how much
of a breakthrough the Prius was when it first came out. It was a totally new technology
that boasted unthinkably high gas mileage and it became more
popular as consumers increasingly worried about the price of fuel and
about the environmental impacts of gasoline emissions in the U.S.. Honda beat Toyota to market by a
few months with the insight, which also happened to beat the
Prius in fuel economy. That vehicle was a small two seat
car with only a manual transmission and air conditioning was optional. Even in the U.S., the Prius was the first hybrid
could truly compete with ordinary gasoline engine cars. Its EPA fuel efficiency rating at that
time was forty eight miles per gallon, far better than just about
anything else on the market. The second generation Prius was
particularly popular and introduced the futuristic styling that became
a signature of the line. Perhaps knowing that many of its
customers would be early adopters and well-heeled buyers looking for a
highly fuel efficient choice, Toyota also made the smart decision to
pack the Prius with technology and other features that were relatively
rare at the time. From the very beginning, the car was
something of a phenomenon in the automotive market. It was an affordable, accessible vehicle
that appealed to a wide audience, including customers who had the
money to spend on luxury vehicles or sports cars and might
not normally buy a Toyota. So when the Prius first came out
is really a very innovative product. It was not like anything. We’ve really seen a hybrid vehicle. It was a little scary for some
people, but it was really very popular because a really long waiting lists
for it really stood for really high fuel efficiency and whatnot. And it was it was
something to be seen in. The car was known for attracting
attention from Hollywood actors such as Leonardo DiCaprio
and Cameron Diaz. It was also a fixture in
popular culture, featured prominently on television shows such as Comedy
Central’s South Park and HBO show Curb Your Enthusiasm. A character on the Showtime TV
show Weeds,a drug dealer, bragged that the car’s quiet, electrified powertrain made
it good for sneaking up on people. It was almost a brand of its own. Not exactly a Toyota, just a Prius. But the Prius is time at
the top was bound to end. SALES peaked in 2012
and fell from there. And it isn’t that hybrid
sales have been falling. In 2000, the Prius had 59 percent
of the hybrid market in the United States. Its share peaked the
next year at 77 percent. But by the end of 2018, the
Prius family’s share had shrunk to 19 percent of the total. During that time, the total hybrid and
plug in share of the car market grew from zero point one percent
in 2000 to two point seven percent in 2018. There were a few factors that
contributed to the Prius is decline. Part of the trouble
was simply competition. For a time, Prius practically
owned the hybrid category. It was far ahead of competitors in
terms of technology and the company had a strong brand
in the Prius name. But over time, others caught up
and hybrid technology lost its novelty. Soon it became a feature
customers could opt for when picking out a vehicle. Now many automakers, including Toyota,
sell electrified versions of sedans, sport, utilities, crossovers
and even pickup trucks. There is also less incentive among
customers to buy any type of hybrid for a few reasons. First, internal combustion engines
have improved considerably. Automakers are squeezing more power
out of smaller, more efficient engines, often by using features
such as start stop technology, forced induction and others. Gas has also become a lot cheaper
as the Prius name has aged. And high fuel costs were one
of the major factors driving the technology behind the car. Fuel prices across the U.S. hit four dollars and ten cents
on July 16th, 2008, their highest recorded average for the
country in history. But in 2018, the price at the pump
fell as low as two dollars and 26 cents a gallon on average. Gas prices plummeted in late 2014,
and that era has really stuck around 2015 through 2018. Relative affordability. And that’s really put Americans interest
in hybrids kind of back. Certainly set them back. Americans have actually gone to
the opposite, less fuel efficient, bigger vehicles, because in the background
of all of this, cafe standards have slowly improved. Average new fuel efficiency
of even big truck. So we’ve come a long way. Toyota also no longer seems to be
positioning the vehicle as a sleek, tech, heavy car for early adopter. Current Prius is still comes stocked
with technology, but they no longer seem ahead of the
pack in what they offer. In some ways they even
seem a bit behind. This doesn’t mean the Prius is
a bad car, for example. Consumer Reports still
recommends it. Yeah, we liked it from the beginning
and we still like the Prius. I mean, the Prius is kind of
like the eat your vegetables car right now. I mean, it’s a car
that really does everything very well. It’s reliable. It’s got safety features,
the top safety features. It’s it’s got a lot of value
and it’s got great fuel efficiency. So it’s a really smart car to get. But no, it’s not as sexy
as some of the competitors. It just no longer looks like
the most revolutionary vehicle and fuel efficient driving. Perhaps that honor now goes to
Tesla, which has upset the automotive world with its boldly design pure
electric sedans, an SUV that emphasized luxury and performance. And for people who really want to
stand out and they want to have something that’s innovative and showing
that it’s about the future, they’re going to do things
like the Tesla Model 3. I mean, in cars, southern California,
that’s really the hot car. That’s the car that’s really about
the future, not the Prius anymore. The Prius was exceptional among cars in
that it was a more affordable vehicle that could still lure buyers
who might otherwise opt for a luxury sedan or high
end sports car. But now many of those early
adopters and well-heeled eco conscious drivers are flocking to Tesla’s,
say many industry observers. Furthermore, Tesla’s success has now
spurred rival automakers to play catch up with it in the
way they once did with Toyota. Now, practically every major automaker
is racing to launch pure electric vehicles of all types
and at all price points. In fact, industry observers have said
Toyota is actually a bit behind in the development of
pure electric vehicles. Toyota is determined to keep hybrid
vehicles relevant, even if it means releasing its own
intellectual property to potential challengers. In April of 2019, the automaker
said it will allow competitors royalty free access to its 24000 patents
on a hybrid vehicle technology through 2030. In a bid to encourage the wider
adoption of hybridization, I think in some ways Prius has been a
victim of its own success, right? It started that revolution that has rolled
out so that there are there are many other choices now when
it comes to alternative fuel vehicles. And it’s fascinating because
the first three generations of Prius, it was really an idea that
people bought into and wanted to associate with that by
the fourth generation. Hybrids were so more normalized in
the market that Prius became more just another vehicle. In the meantime, it continues to
release new versions of the Prius. In May of 2019, the company
unveiled the 2020 Prius prime, which starts at twenty seven
thousand six hundred dollars. It comes with some of those
key standard features missing in its predecessor, such as Apple Car Play,
Sirius XM and Amazon Alexa Compatibility. While the industry seems
to be moving toward electrics. Opinions vary as to how
long that transition will take and how smooth it will be. So hybrids are likely
not going anywhere soon. But while the Prius name may
have once been synonymous with them, could end up being
just another car.

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100 thoughts on “The Rise And Fall Of The Toyota Prius

  1. Why are all your movies titled ,,The rise of", ,,The fall of", ,, The rise and fall of", ,,Why did the x failed?" lmao are those most clickbaity? BTW it was obvious from the beggining that hybrids are just a halfway through. Prius success already lasted very long.

  2. Why Toyota market share is falling .. not only Prius ?
    – They make cars using cheap plastic now (since about 2010)
    – seats are like park benches. VERY uncomfortable and ugly
    – Car styling has gone to dogs. Really really ugly exterior and interior. (New Lexus too)
    – Prius has not introduced anything new. At least a better battery!! . Same old boring crap.
    – Underpowered Engines

    Long time Toyota customer. Not any more.

  3. The Prius is the perfect car, in fact I would buy one tomorrow, if it wasn't for ONE THING.
    It's UGLYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!

  4. I'm sorry but pure electric car prices are still ridiculously high for me to even consider getting one, they are still luxury cars, nothing for an average Joe. If you're really into electric/hybrid motors, a 3-4 years used Prius is still the way to go in my opinion until electric cars become really affordable down the road in 4 to 5 years, otherwise get any other gas car with good milage.

  5. If I can go to Harbor Freight and buy a generator that can power my house in an emergency why can't these electric cars be powered by a small one cylinder gasoline generator? 100+ mpg & no ultra expensive non-degradible lithium batteries.

  6. On the other hand they are rising in development countries like Brazil, where it was too expensive but after years of payback they are getting cheaper here and Toyota are making a lot of money with them. And they are going to launch a "Flex-Fuel" Prius here, which can runwith 100% ethanol in the tank, making it the best car in CO2 emissions in the world, once the plants use the CO2 in the air to grow.

  7. This is the same thing that can be said about the iPhone…. it's has fallen behind other competitors like Samsung/Huawei etc…

  8. The Prius still has a crappy suspension and there is no Diesel. In Europe most people rather buy a Golf Blue Effiency TDI. Even back then there were a couple of 3 Liter cars on the market with better quality of workmanship like the audi A2 1.4TDI. Never understand prius owners except taxidrivers

  9. I love the prius. I will be buying a newer model in 2 months. My daughter just bought a prius and is in love with it. I love this car!

  10. Expensive and ugly, honda jazz is much cheaper to operate in the long run given its price as initial investment.

  11. The Prius took off because of high fuel prices, also, the Prius benefit from the environmentalist (green) crowd, so, what happened, the Prius stay the same and the auto market changed, lower fuel prices (plus, fuel per segment improved), the environmentalist (green) crowd wants full EVs not hybrid now and no, Prius CUV, in a CUV/SUV crazy world, it’s just that simple

  12. Prius sell plummet? Was it due to mechanical issues or reliability? Did they look at the resales of Prius? How long did Prius owners kept it? What year models are still working or running today?

  13. The current generation Prius is a contender for the ugliest car ever made.. it might actually be uglier than the Juke and Aztek.

  14. It’s time to improve the design. In my opinion it is one of the worst designed cars ever and since there are alternatives on the market it lost it edge

  15. I recently bought toyota chr hybrid. Being quite long this car is a better fit. And has stunining styling

  16. I have a first generation prius, when the hybrid battery's went out, the price of replacing them killed all my fuel savings, next time i'll just get a regular Camry. Wont buy a another hybrid.

  17. Additionally Mazda, Datsun (Nissan) Subaru as well as Toyota were doing ok depending on which brand you wanted to look at. Subaru was mishandled I think by Delorian and it suffered from that hurting sales. Honda Civic was introduced in 1972 as a 73 model and it took off. Yes the 1973 oil crisis which was fake and OPEC and U.S. oil company driven gave an additional boostbto rise to the Japanese brands mentioned. Remember Honda was the dominant Motorcyle manufacturer and the Civic got a boost from the riding base including me.. So CNBC IF YOUR going to do a Toyota story get it right. Yep boring cars but, ultra reliable, Corolla is the No. 1 selling automobile of all time but you should mention the the Honda cub small Motorcyle is No.1 selling vehicle of all time at over 100 million units and still going and in production. And Honda was the 1st foreign brand to manufacture motorcycles then vehicles in the USA in the early 80s. Toyota followed the upstart company Honda and so did the rest.
    That said this isn't sower grapes I'm die Hard Honda everyhing. Would buy a Toyota if I wasn't Honda crazy. But never owned a domestic vehicle new except for a 1972 Chevy LUV, which was made by Isuzu. Had a 1957 Ford as a kid along with my Honda motorcycle. Brand loyalty is something you earn by making reliable products but more so that you stand by and support those products and do the right thing for your customer. Don't see that from domestic manufacturers at all. So if you lie we don't buy.
    The two oldest brands selling in the USA and North America are 1: Toyota Corolla introed in 1966. Honda Civic introed in 1972. How unusual is that not one of the big 3 has an iconic model as part if their brand

  18. I don't get it, they spend so much money on R&D and yet uses "no talent" people to design the exterior…. hire someone from honda's civic design team…. then people will buy them…. no brainier solution.

  19. Americans know their lives are at great risk from their fellow drivers and escalate the mass of their cars like a cold war in fear of the other. it's hilarious.

  20. Maybe if they didn’t make it so hard to negotiate prices on the Prius. The company doesn’t allow the dealerships to budge on monthly payments.
    That and Toyota is now one of the highest stolen car brands.

    I know because I wanted a Prius in 2017. We tried to negotiate lower prices, and the only way I could get a Prius was by getting a Prius c that was a 2016 car. This is coming from someone who doesn’t mind paying $300 a month and has a 750 credit score.

    Then just this past year, my Prius, and my husband’s Toyota rav 4 we’re both stolen. Another friend of mine had a car stolen, and it was a Toyota. I work at a bar where cops frequent, so I told them our situation. Before I even told them what type of car I had, they knew it was going to be a Toyota.

    I tried to buy another Prius this year to replace my old one, and again, it’s so freaking expensive, the dealership isn’t allowed to budge on pricing, so ironically I ended up getting a Honda. A tiny bit more in gas per month, now one of the least stolen cars in the market, but at least I have a really nice vehicle that isn’t >$400 a month.

    So if you’re a person who works for Prius, I hope you see this. You have clientele out there, but you don’t make it accessible for that clientele. It’s pretty simple

  21. Our family 2011 Prius has done 294,000 miles with just regular maintenance, no repairs. It has saved us an enormous sum at the gas pump too

  22. Sales of the new Prius are down because it's ugly and so delicate you do $3000 damage just by scraping a parking Ballard. Prius gen 2 and 3 are perfect and durable cars.

  23. You forgot a big thing. Toyota is still leader in the Hybrid section. They are selling every model as a Hybrid. Not 1 or 2 models like other manufacturers. From small town cars up to SUVs, Toyota has a Hybrid in every size and so they are their toughest competitor against the Prius. Toyota has a brilliant quality. Even at their cheap models the quality is as good as Mercedes, and often better at their expensive models. Thats the reason, why old Prius still run without problems. And so there is no reason to buy a newer model. My Toyota is from 2007. It has 200 000 km on the clock, no rust, no technical problems and just has some visual flaws coming with age. So why should i buy a new one? I drive it till its death. And this could take decades from now.
    Habe a look at TESLA Model 3. Yes on first look its good, but when you go closer, you see where they saved money. Yes there are models, that have reached a high distance, but electric cars have their own flaws. Their production creates twice the pollution compared with a regular petrol car of the same size. After buying they aren't clean. If your energy comes from a coal or gas plant, then the electric car is as dirty as a regular petrol car. The dirt is just at another place. The rare materials you need to build the batteries, are collected by poor people in africa, who were treated like slaves. Yes a Hybrid has a Battery too. But its a smaller one. So maybe its not as bad.

    But the biggest reason why not everyone can drive a full electric car is the following.

    There aren't Chargers everywhere and people in the cities don't have garages, where they can set their own charger. So the only way for them to do something for the climate is to drive a Hybrid. A full electric car is stupid, if you can't charge it.

  24. As a owner of 3 Pruis. The 2004 Prius the first battery was replacement was in 2017 with over 300k miles. With 0 problems on those 13 years. Recently a recall, the brake pump, and regenerative braking all replaced for free. I'm not turning back to regular combustion, the minimum level accepted is hybrid.

  25. Yes, I have been thinking about this a lot recently – an estate and convertible version would probably help sales – as well as a non hybrid diesel model.

  26. hmm buy a Tesla with crap service, expensive parts, long line ups for repair, no dealer network or a Toyota with the usual Toyota service experience. I think you know where I am going to put my money

  27. Say what you want about the Prius, it's exactly like the 747. You might not like it and it might not be as efficient as it once was, but it changed the industry as we know it and set us up for a path to the future. People will remember the name for generations to come.

  28. I would suspect that not just Prius sales are down, all Japanese sales are down, they customer service is very bad. I 've owned 2 lexus and I can promise you, I won't own a 3rd.

  29. i think the problem was toyota took a piece of paper and stabbed it a dozen times and called it 'design,' and people don't like that approach which is basically what the prius basically looks like from the front. no one wants an ugly car. it used to be good looking.

  30. Negative Prius still rules man, once you own one. Any other car sucks gas that is. $22 bucks full tank, 450 to 490 miles per tank!
    How much did you get from big oil companies or from car manufacturers?

  31. At the end of the day hybrids were always considered to be the stepping stone until we got to fully electric cars. Thank you Toyota for what you designed and developed.

  32. It's a no brainer! The new Prius is SO UGLY! It also looks smaller. People liked the cargo space of the last model Prius also. Look at the styling of the Teslas vs the Priuses. 7:27. There are all these weird angles on the new Prius. Too much eye clutter. Whereas the Teslas look more aerodynamic yet have enough cargo space in them that you can sleep in them. The old piues you could sleep in but I'm not so sure about the new ones.

  33. 4:48 and 4:51 are both fully electric vehicles… not hybrids… bruh… fake news… a Tesla Model X and a Rivian Pick Up Truck

  34. The Toyota Prius was the first mainstream hybrid on the market, and it held that position for over a decade. In just a few years every major car maker will offer multiple hybrid models. There is already plenty of competition from other manufacturers. Of course sales have slowed down. Many people hold onto their Prius for years, as they are incredibly reliable. And now more and more people are buying Teslas, and they are coming out with new electric cars.

  35. They forgot that if you are young man or MAN period, owning a Prius opens the doors for bullying from just about everybody you.

  36. IMO hybrids are the way to go. Driving always electric via the battery, when required the combustion engine always runs at maximum efficiency to charge the battery. The engine, running at one speed only could be highly optimized. Charging rate maybe 60% of energy used at highway speeds.
    No range anxiety, no long loading times unless one drives long distances.

  37. I drove one for a year…its not a bad car at all, but its not exactly exciting either…its fine to drive to work or the grocery store, its not the car you want to go driving in the hills etc though and its not going to turn any heads or pickup any girls.

  38. Yep and meanwhile I stuck with my 91 Dodge D150 aka Ram which sucks on gas but at least I kept my manhood lmao. Prius please, those cars were aimed at women.

  39. i can't believe you !! not to mention the stupid design i think the EV's design are very ugly i don't understand what is it with the strange ugly look .. specially exterior design !!

  40. On the contrary, it is a very popular vehicle now that people have opened up to the idea of hybrid and electric vehicles. The taxi industry loves priuses. There are so many prius primes out there. The title of the video is highly inaccurate.

  41. The one & only thing which i don't like about Toyota is it's cars exterior design, i hope they change their designers or give them freedom to play with the design like JLR did.

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