The hit that is the Prius doubled its November sales over those of last year, to 16,737 vehicles sold. That’s only about two-thirds of those sold in the Prius’ best month, May, which saw more than 24,000 out the door.
To put this in perspective,
The Prius is outselling Acura, Saturn, Buick, Subaru, and Mercury,
It is selling at a rate almost equal to that of Cadillac and of Volkswagen’s entire lines. Those brands beat the Prius by less than a thousand vehicles each.
Prius sales doubtless gladden the hearts at Toyota.
But they’re probably eliciting a few smiles at General Motors, too.
GM is making a very large bet on the Chevrolet Volt. If they hit the target introduction date of 2010, it will be an upscale vehicle, compared to the Prius, with clear advantages in driveability and ecology. It, like the Prius, will have a product name that is synonymous with its drive system. The speed with which Prius sales have climbed clearly establishes that the market exists. But, it does not establish that the Prius will remain dominant. It’s not hard to dominate a market when you’re the only entrant in it.