Toyota Motor Corp.'s Prius hybrid is the best-selling vehicle in California, considered as the largest auto market in the United States. Based on registration data from Experian Automotive, Toyota sold 60,688 Prius models to consumers in California in 2012, equivalent to a 78-percent growth in sales. In the process, Prius dislodged Honda Motor Co.'s Civic from the throne, driven by higher fuel prices and buoyed by new versions of the hybrid vehicle.
Honda posted a 52-percent jump in Civic sales in California in 2012 to 57,124 units, according to the Experian data. In 2011, the Toyota Prius was the fourth top-selling vehicle in the Golden State, behind the Honda Civic, the Honda Accord and the Toyota Camry, according to the California New Car Dealers Association's Auto Outlook report.
Nationwide, the Ford F-series pickup was the top-selling light vehicle in the US in 2012, ahead of the Chevrolet Silverado and Toyota Camry. The Camry, however was the top-selling car in the US in 2012, followed by the Accord and Civic. California accounts for over 10 percent of all new vehicles sold in the US.
The state also has been the top overseas market for Prius since it was launched in 2000. The Prius hatchback and Aqua, which is sold in the US as the Prius c subcompact, were Japan’s top two top-selling vehicles in 2012.
Bob Carter, Toyota's senior U.S. vice president, noted that the Prius became more popular with the carmaker’s customers as gas prices in California continued to increase. He added that the popularity of the Prius is why Toyota remains to be the world's largest seller of gasoline-electric vehicles.