The Prius may soon be more than just one oh-so-stereotyped hybrid motor vehicle. Toyota’s talking about starting a family of the cars, and in this case I’d have to support wanton reproduction.
The automaker announced this week that they are considering creating a line of the gasoline-electric cars. It could include a wagon and a smaller, Smart-Car-esque inner-city model.
U.S. sales of the Prius fell in the first quarter of 2006 simply because Toyota couldn’t keep up with demand. Which probably means that folks who wanted a hybrid turned to other, less pleasant new cars. Which means news of increased production — up to 1 million cars and light trucks per year, the company projects — is a good sign for the automaker, city-dwellers, suburban moms, and the planet. It’s nice when it works out that way, innit?
The company — based Toyota City, Japan (yeah, Toyota City. Really.) — accounts for 75 percent of the hybrid vehicles sold in the U.S.