Toyota Lowers Prius Sales Target Thanks to Cheap Gas

Toyota may have an all-new Prius, but it’s being realistic with its sales potential.

With gas prices dropping worldwide, Toyota has lowered its sales target for the new Prius to global annual sales of 300,000 to 350,000 units. That’s the lower end of the spectrum compared to the 300,000 to 400,000 sales target for the previous model. One of the factors for the reduced sales target is an overall decline of annual sales for the hybrid since 2013. According to the Japanese automaker’s monthly sales records, U.S. sales of Prius models have dropped 12 percent in the year to November compared to the same period last year.

Gasoline prices in the U.S. are currently at seven-year lows and it has driven consumers away from fuel-efficient models to crossovers and SUVs.

The fourth-generation Toyota Prius will launch early next year in Europe and the U.S. and went on sale in Japan today. Pricing for the model hasn’t been announced but in Japan, it is about 19 percent more than the previous model, starting at around $19,800 (2.43-million yen).

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