At a press conference this morning President and CEO of Toyota, Akio Toyoda came out with a brief statement explaining why they are making such a sweeping change.
In the wake of the awful tragedy that has struck our nation, Toyota has recognized that perhaps now is the best time to reinvent ourselves, and our country, for the 21st century.
For over fifty years, Toyota has built some of the most recognizable car nameplates on the planet, including the Camry, Corolla, Hilux pickup, and the world’s best selling hybrid, the Prius.
It is this last nameplate, Prius, that has come to be more than just a car though; it is the vanguard of a movement to cut our oil use, and maximize the efficiency of the fuel we do use. To date, Toyota has sold over 3 million hybrids in a decade, many of these vehicles the Prius. Our research shows that Prius is the car many American and Japanese car owners now associate with Toyota, and when the word “hybrid” is mentioned, again it is Toyota Americans and Japanese citizens think of.
After the enthusiastic response our Prius V, Prius Plug-in, and Prius C Concept received at the Detroit Auto Show, it became clear that Americans love the Prius hybrid and that that love cannot be contained to a single brand.
Therefore, we are announcing that, beginning in January of 2012, every model we sell in the U.S. and Japan will bear the Prius name, including the Camry Prius, Tundra Prius, and Landcruiser Prius.
Of course, we would not simply attach the Prius name any gas guzzler. Rather, we are taking every vehicle in our lineup and offering them solely as a hybrid. That means Toyota will be the only maker of hybrid pickups, compact cars, and minivans. This will also carry over to our other brands, Lexus and Scion.
In addition, we will induct all new Toyota Prius vehicle owners into a green lifestyles program called “The Prius Way.” Here, we will teach new hybrid owners how to maximize their gas mileage, all the ways they are saving the world, as well as the best comebacks for common criticisms of “The Prius Way.” Entry into this program is free and mandatory for all new hybrid owners as we seek to convert the masses to a better way of driving.
We hope you are as excited by this news as we are, and we will release specific information regarding the new full line of Prius automobiles and The Prius Way. Thank you.
I am without words at this shocking revelation. Thoughts?
Chris DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs. You can read about his slow descent into madness at Sublime Burnout or follow his non-nonsensical ramblings on Twitter @harshcougar.