Toyota Prius Is the Best-Selling Car in California


  • 2013 Toyota Prius Picture

    2013 Toyota Prius Picture

    The Toyota Prius hybrid led California sales in 2013. | February 23, 2014

Just the Facts:
  • During 2013, Toyota Prius hybrids outsold all other new cars in California for the second straight year, according to the latest California Auto Outlook.
  • The report says the Prius Liftback, Prius V, Prius C and Prius Plug-in, accounted for 69,728 sales in the state.
  • Edmunds data shows that Ford's F-150 pickup, the best seller nationwide, ranked seventh in California retail sales.

SACRAMENTO, California — During 2013, Toyota Prius hybrids outsold all other new cars in California for the second straight year, according to the latest California Auto Outlook.

The report, published by the California New Car Dealers Association, found that the Prius family of vehicles, including the Prius Liftback, Prius V, Prius C and Prius Plug-in, accounted for 69,728 sales in the state. That compares to the 2nd-place Honda Civic's 57,124 units and 50,250 for Toyota's Camry, which came in 3rd.

Prius models were also California's top sellers in 2012, with 61,893 new vehicles sold.

"For many customers Prius is synonymous with hybrid, especially in California," said Bill Fay, group vice president and general manager of Toyota Motor Sales, Inc., in a statement. "When the Prius was launched in 2000, many dismissed it as a 'science project,' but owners were enamored by its great MPG and lower emissions for a cleaner environment."

Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds Senior Analyst and Director of Pricing and Industry Analysis, notes that the figures cited in the report are for sales of the entire Toyota Prius family, while the best-selling individual model sold in California during 2013 was the Honda Civic.

Edmunds data also shows that Ford's F-150 pickup, the best-selling model nationwide in 2013, didn't do quite as well in the Golden State. Caldwell said the F-150 series "finished 7th for retail only and 6th in total registrations in California" last year.

Additional information from the Edmunds database reveals that more than 70 percent of Prius buyers are in the 35-64-year-old age group. Better than 80 percent earn more than $50,000 per year. And, not surprisingly, most live in the large urban population centers: Los Angeles, San Diego and the San Francisco Bay area.

Also not surprising is that sales of hybrids in general, as well as plug-ins and electric vehicles, are higher in California than anywhere else in the country. According to the California Auto Outlook, these vehicles made up 9.3 percent of the state's total new car sales in 2013, compared to 3.2 percent nationwide, as reported by Hybridcars.com.

Edmunds says: Hybrids like the Prius have caught on quickly in California, while the rest of the country seems to favor the Ford F-150.

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