2012 Toyota Prius CEnlarge Photo
California loves its hybrids. And according to figures from Toyota, it loves their hybrids more than anyone else's.
A full 61 percent of new hybrids sold in California are from the Toyota brand, despite tough and growing competition from marques like Ford.
The Blue Oval places second in California's hybrid sales rankings, with five times fewer hybrid sales, while General Motors sits third with a six percent share.
It shows that domestic automakers still have a way to go to catch Toyota in terms of pure hybrid volume, though as we noted in our recent Prius versus C-Max Hybrid comparison, Toyota is the brand with work to on driving characteristics and quality.
Toyota's smackdown continues, however--in May, the brand sold more hybrids in California than Ford sold passenger cars altogether. It talks of its 2 million hybrid sales in the U.S. alone, and of more than 5 million worldwide since the very first Prius rolled off the line. One in two Californian Toyota hybrids is a Prius, and it's the state's most popular new car.
And on the road, as our comparison showed, the Prius still has the economy edge against its rivals.
You get the impression Toyota is keen to put hybrid upstarts from other automakers in their place. Or perhaps its just covering its back until the all-new and even more economical Prius debuts in 2015.
It's worth noting that California has always been a law unto itself as far as hybrids and electric vehicles are concerned, and outside the state the picture is a little more even--Ford's hybrid sales are rising, while the Prius is steadily falling.
And the other message is positive whoever is selling the hybrids: buyers, particularly those in California, are saving one heck of a lot of gas and emitting a lot less pollution as they buy up hybrids in their droves.
Can't everybody just... get along?...