Dave Christ, Toyota Division general manager, told me the new car, which comes in two models, Prius and the plug-in Prius Prime, should sell between 40,000 and 50,000 units annually in the U.S. Prius sales through the first 10 months of this year are down 44 percent to 29,944 amid global supply and production constraints.
Doug Eroh, general manager of Longo Toyota, in El Monte, Calif., the world’s highest-volume Toyota store, looked over the new Prius at a private event on the eve of the L.A. show and said he isn’t worried that the car looks too much like a sedan when consumers are defecting to crossovers and SUVs. “Gas price are high, and there is a significant amount of demand for sedans in California, especially hybrid vehicles,” he said. “The styling is outstanding and Prius is a good brand. I think we’ll have significant demand.”