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Toyota Prius Claims Best Selling Car Crown in Japan for FY 2009

By Pure Green Cars on 04/06/2010 – 6:40 am PDTLeave a Comment

JADA said Toyota’s Prius was the top-selling car in Japan in the fiscal year to March 2010, with sales quadrupling from a year earlier to 277,485 units. World’s No. 1 automaker sold 35,546 Prius hybrids in Japan last month.

The Prius captured the top-selling slot from Suzuki’s WagonR minicar, which had been Japan’s best-selling car for the fifth straight year through fiscal 2008. The WagonR was second with sales of 193,430 units, down 7.2 percent; followed by Honda’s Fit compact car, which sold 173,154 units, up 13.8 percent.

Newest Prius, now in its third generation since its 1997 introduction, is the best-selling gas-electric hybrid in the world, with a total of 1.7 million units sold worldwide. It is so popular in Japan that customers must wait six months to take delivery after placing an order for a Prius due to robust demand for the latest model.

Why does the Prius continue to do so well in Toyota’s home market? “Consumers were choosing the Prius with the help of tax breaks and government subsidies for environmentally friendly vehicles,” said Toshiki Miyake, a spokesman for the JADA.

Toyota still enjoys strong support in its domestic market even as quality issues and the recall of 8.5 million vehicles continue to shake up its global operations. U.S. regulators Monday proposed a $16.4 million fine against the company, saying it knowingly hid safety problems.

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