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Autoland Blog

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Prius Plug-In Hybrids Arrive At New Jersey Toyota Dealers

Creating artificial demand is a common tactic among retailers. Whether it is a limited release of a new game console or a record label releasing tracks of a new album online before it officially drops, stirring up the fervor for a product can embolden early sales. And as New Jersey Toyota dealers will soon find out, nothing stirs up fervor like high gas prices.

This week, Toyota announced that the Prius Plug-In Hybrid would be arriving at select dealerships. The rollout would be managed, reports said, starting in certain "launch states" Arizona, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington. Availability will open up to all other states in 2013. Since the announcement, reviews have further stirred interest in the first plug-in Hybrid from America's number one car brand that are expected to send potential customers flocking to Toyota dealers in NJ as well as in launch states around the country.

First of all, when compared with the Chevy Volt, the Prius Hybrid wins the mpg war. Consumer reporting shows the Prius Plug In Hybrid will offer between 60 and 75 miles per gallon, with frequent electric charges in between. This tramples the already-stellar traditional Prius (51hwy / 48city).

With the Prius redesign released this year, Toyota reduced the price tag, bringing it down closer to the price of the Camry. As a result, the plug-in Prius goes back up to the $32,000 price tag. But with gas savings estimate at literally thousands per year, owners can recoup the extra cash spent on the car payment.

Toyota dealerships expect to see the new cars on the lot this month, sending invites first to privileged customers and folks who made the waiting list. The car should become more widely available after that.

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Toyota Dealers Take Top Honors In Consumer Reports Annual Auto Issue

From a Prius reboot to redesigned classic SUV models like the Rav4 and Highlander, it has been a banner year for Toyota, cementing its slot as the top selling automaker in America. And according to Consumer Reports 2012 Annual Auto Issue, released this week, there are many good reasons for this. A common bellwether for car dealers in NJ and around the country, Consumer Reports nominated five Toyota models to its Top 10 car picks in 2012.

Toyota dealers in NJ and across the country have seen this success borne out as Toyota added more dealerships in 2011 than any other US auto maker. The reason, Consumer Reports claims, is in the company's willingness to change with customer desires, adding popular features but not losing overall reliability, safety and value.

The company released a new edition of its popular hybrid Prius, along with redesigns of the Rav4 and Highlander SUVs. But it was additions to the best-selling Camry and minivan Sienna that propelled Toyota dealerships in 2011.

Toyota introduced an improved Camry Hybrid, a family sedan offering a best-in-class 38 miles per gallon that tops many smaller hybrids that lack the Camry's performance. The 2012 also offers many improved internal features, quicker pickup and sportier handling.

The Sienna minivan actually received a lower rating than last year's model. But with car manufacturers turning away from the Minivan market, many brands allowed their minivans to decline in quality, offering below-average reliability in Consumer Reports testing. The Sienna came out well ahead of all challengers.

Improving fuel economy continues to be a big draw for consumers as gas prices continue to rise. The Toyota Rav4 and Highlander redesigns both came with vastly improved numbers at the pump, drawing new consumers to visit a Toyota dealer in 2011. With marks like these, this trend is likely to continue well into 2012.

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