Toyota Motor Corp. anticipates that when the decade ends, the Prius hybrid and related models that have the same name will be its top-selling U.S. vehicle line. Last Monday, Bob Carter, Toyota's group vice president for U.S. sales, told analysts that by that time, Prius will be the “No. 1 nameplate in the industry.”
He also predicted that a “close second” will be Camry, Toyota's top-selling U.S. model. However, he pointed out that there will be no drop in Camry sales.
Toyota is currently the world's largest maker of gasoline-electric cars. At the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Toyota will unveil a larger, wagon-type Prius, the current midsize Prius hatchback and a plug- in version due by 2012.
Mike Michels, a Toyota spokesman, revealed that an additional concept version will be displayed too but he declined to provide details. Prius has been the world's topselling alternative powertrain car for a decade.
But this year, it will have to fend off the advances of Nissan Motor Co.'s rechargeable Leaf hatchback and General Motors Co.'s Volt plug-in sedan, which can run for extended distances using little or no gasoline. The Leaf and Volt started deliveries last month. [via autnews - sub. required]