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New Prius Costs 5% Less Than Previous Model

Toyota is introducing a new "standard" version of its popular gas-electric hybrid for the 2008 model year with a base price of $20,950, which is 5.5% less than the lowest-cost 2007 model (not including destination charges). Toyota also says it will raise the base sticker prices of the 2008 mid-size and Touring models by $150 to $22,325 and $23,220, respectively. The cars will be in dealerships in August.

Prius sales in June jumped 83% from a year earlier, and were up 96% during the first half or the year. It remains by far the most popular gasoline-electric hybrid in the U.S.--65% of all hybrids sold so far this year were Priuses. Although gas savings are attracting buyers, having more cars on dealer lots also has helped.

Toyota is boosting production of U.S.-bound Priuses by almost 50% to an annual rate of 150,000. That's giving buyers more bargaining room, and this spring, Toyota began offering discounts of $600 to $2,000 a vehicle on common options packages.



Read the whole story at Los Angeles Times »

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