Toyota’s plug-in car sales in U.S. jump to almost 10,000 in first quarter of 2021

Toyota’s plug-in car sales in U.S. jump to almost 10,000 in first quarter of 2021

Japanese multinational automotive manufacturer Toyota Motor Corporation has announced an impressive increase in its overall quarterly vehicle sales in the U.S., thanks partly to a much improved contribution by plug-in car sales. In the first three months (January to March quarter) of 2021, the Japanese auto maker increased its overall car sales in the U.S. by 20 per cent year-over-year to a total of 528,813 units. Stronger sales of plug-in vehicles contributed a lot to the company’s overall sales increase.

In total, Toyota delivered 9,791 plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) in the first quarter of this year, which represents a jump of 132 per cent from the corresponding three-month period of the previous year. It is actually the Japanese auto giant’s best quarterly result ever in terms of PHEV sales. The overall share of PHEVs out of the total volume improved from 1 per cent in the first quarter of 2019 to 1.9 per cent in the first quarter this year.

Two models that contributed the most to the automaker’s plug-in results are the Toyota Prius Prime and Toyota RAV4 Prime. The Toyota Prius Prime, which a second improved model after the original Prius PHEV, is one of the oldest PHEV models available in the market with a total volume reaching 100,000. It is quite encouraging to see that this PHEV is still performing well in terms of sales. During the January to march quarter, the automaker sold a total of 6,999 units, up 66 per cent year-over-year. The figure is almost 50 per cent of the total Prius family. The month of March was particularly robust with a total of 3,610 units sold.

The Toyota RAV4 Prime, which is a new model, is reportedly highly production constrained. In spite of high demand, the automaker sold merely 2,792 units of this vehicle during the first quarter. The figure represents a significant decline from 3,200 units in the previous quarter.

Amid growing demand for the new model, the potential for its sales in the US is really high. Thus, it is not hard to guess a 5-digit number per quarter once the company manages to boost its production.

It is worth-mentioning here that Toyota is not a big fan of EVs. Top Toyota executives have repeatedly and openly refused to embrace the EV revolution. While most of the world’s automakers are following in EV pioneer Tesla Inc.’s footsteps to shift from internal combustions engines (ICEs) to EVs, Toyota has steadfastly clung to the notion that hydrogen fuel cell-powered vehicles, not battery-powered vehicles, will be the future of transportation.