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Toyota To Sell Old Prius Alongside 2010 Model In Japan


2010 Toyota Prius

2010 Toyota Prius

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When the new, third-gen 2010 Toyota Prius goes on sale this summer, it will be offered alongside the current-gen Prius in Japan according to the business newspaper Nikkei. The point: create a reason for hybrid buyers to stay in the Toyota fold despite the arrival of the reportedly lower-priced 2010 Honda Insight.

The Honda Insight is rumored to retail below $2 million yen (roughly $22,222 as of this writing), a number that Edmunds claims is a significant psychological factor in Japanese car purchases. The current Prius starts out above $25,000; Toyota plans to "de-content" the current model's interior to bring its price closer to Insight levels for summer battle in the hybrid car segment.

2009 Toyota Prius Touring

2009 Toyota Prius Touring

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Will Japanese buyers, reputedly unable to resist the latest and greatest, really spring for an old-gen Prius with a gutted interior when they could have Honda's 2010 Insight for the same or even less money? If buyers really want the best, they could step up to the third-gen 2010 Prius with its more powerful 1.8-liter, new styling inside and out, and infusion of the latest tech. But that model is likely to ring at prices higher than the outgoing Prius, which tops out at over $37,000 in Japan.

[source: Edmunds]

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