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I have to wonder what the introduction of the Camry Hybrid means for the future of the Prius? The Prius has been a practical alternative for those whose needs are met by a small to mid-sized sedan. From a marketing/product development point of view does it make sense to have two hybrids in this niche?

Maybe the Prius will get smaller with more cutting edge technology and become a super high mileage vehicle with a smaller target market. Maybe it will fade out altogether. Remember the name refers to that which goes before.
 

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I think the Camry will only have a minor effect competing with the Prius mainly because of the significant difference in fuel mileage (Camry hybrid 40/38; Prius 60/51). This difference will intensify as gas prices exceed $3.00/gal this summer. Secondarily, the Prius has an ongoing appeal that no other hybrid can claim, it's own unique aerodynamic body style.

However, Prius sales will be affected when the $16,000 Toyota Yaris hybrid (or maybe it's the Honda Fit that will have a hybrid offering) is sold in the U.S. next year, as it will cost much less and probably exceed the Prius in mileage.
 

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The Yaris Hybrid won't be here til 2008 at least that's what I heard. Seems coincidental to the launch of the new Corolla/Matrix.

I think the Prius will have its place. First of all, Toyota has been missing a midsize hatchback in ages (they never brought the Corolla hatchback over and neither the Carina liftback). It's also distinct and is considered as Toyota's halo car (aside from the LS). It's also the place to put leading edge hybrid technology then see what the techies say and modify it for the other hybrids as they get updated.

In addition, the Prius and Camry are targeting opposite markets. The typical Camry buyer is older and more conservative while the Prius tend to attract those who are into technology and are willing to embrace the latest one.
 

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hyperion said:
Buyers that can afford the price of a Camry hybrid will not be concerned about 3 dollar a gallon gasoline.
I could easily afford two Camry's and still, I would be concerned about $3 bucks a gallon. Maybe it's the way I was raised.
 

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I too have heard that Toyota might hybrid their entire fleet eventually.

I think the Prius and Camry Hybrid are two different cars and will attract different buyers. In my family, I have a Prius on order and due in a day now, and my wife has pre-ordered a Camry Hybrid. She would NEVER buy a Prius (our local dealer had a Prius in Seaside Pearl that I was trying to convince her to buy since she liked the color but she said no). She likes the look and the luxury feeling of the Camry Hybrid (she drives a 2004 Camry now).

The Prius' only competion someday might be from Scion. Scion's big thing is customizing. You can pimp your ride with the Scion cars. So, if they hybrid Scion, then younger buyers might buy them instead.

Have there been any demographic studies on Prius owners? I'm curious if Prius owners are typically older...
 

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janets98 said:
Thanks for the info, eyeguy. I've been wondering why anyone would buy an ugly Scion. :lol:
Um. I had a XB, and still own a XA.

Beauty is in the eye and all that. Sides, many have said that the Prius is not exactly a beauty queen.
 

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janets98 said:
...I've been wondering why anyone would buy an ugly Scion. :lol:
Not a big fan of Scions myself, but my wife purchased an xB and is quite happy with it...Personally, I hate driving the thing and think it should've been painted yellow, but hey, what do I know? :?:
 

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tC :D

Yeah the Yaris Hybrid will be out around 2008 (don't quote me on this. It's just what I heard). We're all hoping for a Sienna hybrid ASAP.
 

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nmrickie said:
The new Camry looks like a great vehicle, but it won't have the versatility I need that the Prius provides. I think the Prius will still have a niche.
Ditto! A standard sedan does not work for me and the dog, mom and her wheelchair, furniture moving, etc., etc.

My daughter and her husband are planning to buy my car off of me when they come back from Italy in 3 years. I will do it if I can get another Prius.
 

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I think Prius competes with Corollas, not Camry. Prius is almost the same size (on the outside) as a Corolla - actually, 2 inches shorter and 1 inch narrower - and if it's bigger on the inside, that's because it's designed well. Camry is a much larger car (on the outside).

I just test-drove a Prius and a Corolla, and I thought the Prius was much better on every level. I'd like to see Prius replace Corolla - they really ARE the same niche. Just give a Prius a conventional gasoline engine - it would still get excellent gas mileage - it would make Corollas totally redundant as a model.
 

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Except that EPA measures by interior volume so it's classified as a midsize hence Camry sized.

Besides, having camry-like interior with the manoeuvrability of a Corolla-sized car is a win-win situation.


Also, someone posted over at PriusChat quoting AutoExpress.

AutoExpress said that the next gen Prius will have Li-Ion batteries, run to 60 one second faster than the current Prius and get up to 94mpg US (I suppose that'll be the Japanese one since the Japanese version currently gets 80mpg US)
 
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