Low petrol prices force Toyota to adjust downwards global sales targets for Prius

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Toyota Motor said that it has to lower its global sales target for the new Prius, because the low petrol prices are reducing the demand for the fuel-efficient cars. The average price of gasoline and diesel fuel in the US has been in a continuous decrease throughout the year and the analysts are predicting the drop tendency to be maintained. The last time when the fuel prices in the US have been this low as they are at this moment was in 2008. The customers are not looking anymore for fuel-efficient cars, as they drive their attention towards gas-thirty sports utility vehicles and big trucks. Therefore, the world’s biggest selling automaker said it was now targeting average global annual sales of 300,000-350,000 for the fourth-generation Prius, the lower end of the 300,000-400,000 annual sales target for the previous model. According to Toyota’s monthly sales records, US sales of Prius series models have fallen 12 percent in the year to November from the same period last year. A company spokeswoman said a decrease in annual sales for the hybrid cars since 2013 was a factor behind the automaker’s decision to lower its sales target. However, the automaker said it has received domestic orders for around 60,000 new Priuses so far. “This Prius is contributing to an increase in overall average daily domestic production to around 14,000 cars, for the first time in a while,” Toyota President Akio Toyoda told reporters at a plant near the company’s headquarters on Monday. Toyota launched the fourth-generation Prius in Japan last week, and will market the latest version of the world’s first mass-produced gasoline-electric hybrid car in other regions in the coming months.