This week the Japanese automaker announced that in the first six months the Prius Plug-in had sold over 6,000 units. But they did it in a kind of weird way.
Automakers are always taking pot shots at each other, and the marketing firms they hire are masters at manipulating facts and phrase in the most favorable way possible. One would think that sales on average of 1,000 units per month, with the Prius Plug-in being on sale in just 15 states, would be a good enough metric.
But the press release, which you can read here, instead measures the first full six-months the Prius Plug-in was on sale against the Chevy Volt (2,745) and Nissan Leaf (3,875) first six months. It is a bit of an odd metric, though Toyota is not alone in using it. Automakers, including GM and Nissan, regularly construe numbers and phrases in a way to make them look even better. The point Toyota is trying to convey is just how much stronger sales of the Prius plug-in are compared to its main rivals.
Ok, we get it.
Still, the Toyota Prius Plug-in is indeed off to a very strong start. It could be helped in part by what increasingly resembles a recovering economy, or it could be the Prius brand name giving it better market recognition. Then again, Nissan leaf sales started out strong before plateauing, while the Chevy Volt got off to a slow start but just had its best sales month ever in August.
For a car that has received very little marketing or attention from the press, sales of the Toyota Prius Plug-in’s are that much more impressive. But the way Toyota is twisting itself in pretzels to get the one-up over the Volt and Leaf, you’d think they had something to worry about.