Sunday, May 25, 2008

Rising demand makes Toyota Prius scarce in the USA

Toyota Motor Corporation's (TYO: 7203) Prius hybrids are becoming scarce in many parts of the USA and the reason is rising fuel price. Because of high price of fuel, more and more people are going for hybrid cars. Toyota Prius is the most popular hybrid model in the USA. The high demand and lower supply has created this problem. Frank Pugliese, general manager, Millenium Toyota at Hampstead said that all the Prius hybrids in his store have been pre-sold. Anyone looking for a Toyota Prius will have to wait at least for two months. Like Pugilese, most of the Toyota dealers are on the waiting list of Toyota Prius. News reports:

The auto information company R.L. Polk & Co. of Southfield, Mich., said registrations of new hybrid cars and SUVs in Nassau and Suffolk rose 54 percent, to 4,022, in the 12-month period that ended March 31, the last month for which data is available, compared with the same period a year earlier. That's far beyond the 6.8 percent growth overall in new vehicle registrations.

Since then, demand has only increased, Pugliese said. "For every 20 cents that gas goes up, you can add another week to 10 days to the wait for a Prius," he added.

Long Island is one of the high oil consuming regions in the USA but hybrids account for only 2% of the new cars sold here. Out of the 23 hybrid cars and SUVs sold in USA, Toyota Prius is the most popular. The regular price of a Toyota Prius is $21,760 but some dealers are asking for premiums over sticker price. Toyota Motor Corporation ordered its dealers to sell 1754 cars per month which is 86% high from last year. After waiting for long time, many customers are now rolling out with other models.

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