LOS ANGELES (Bloomberg) -- Toyota Motor Corp. expects the Prius hybrid and related models bearing the same name to become its top-selling U.S. vehicle line by the end of the decade.
“We will end the decade with Prius being the No. 1 nameplate in the industry,” Bob Carter, Toyota's group vice president for U.S. sales, said in a call with analysts on Monday. The Camry, Toyota's top-selling U.S. model, “will be a close second, and that's not because there will be a drop in Camry sales,” he said, according to notes from the call confirmed by the automaker.
Toyota is already the world's largest maker of gasoline-electric cars.
Along with the current mid-sizes Prius hatchback and a plug-in version due by 2012, Toyota plans to unveil a larger, wagon-type Prius at the Detroit auto show on Jan. 10 and display an additional concept version, Mike Michels, a company spokesman, said without elaborating.
Prius, the world's best-selling alternative powertrain car for a decade, faces competition this year from Nissan Motor Co.'s rechargeable Leaf hatchback and General Motors Co.'s Volt plug-in hybrid sedan, which offers the ability to drive extended distances using little or no gasoline. Deliveries of the Leaf and Volt began last month.
U.S. Prius sales through November fell 2 percent to 125,289 from a year ago, according to the company. By comparison, Camry sales through November were 296,581.
Prius had one of its best months of sales in December in a decade, according to Edmunds.com, an auto-shopping research Web site, which reported on highlights of the call with analysts.