Perhaps the the "c" in the Prius C stands for ka-ching. According to reports, Toyota in Japan received 10 times its monthly sales target in pre-orders for the compact version of its Prius hybrid within the first five days of the model's debut, leading to what's likely to be a shortage and long wait times for the car.
HybridCars.com, citing the Japanese publication Nikkei, says the Japanese automaker received about 120,000 orders for the Aqua between December 26 and 31, adding that Toyota had targeted sales of about 12,000 units a month. Toyota had already received about 60,000 orders prior to the launch of the model, which will be called the Prius C when it debuts in the U.S. later this year, and had estimated a four-month wait time between order and delivery. Toyota's current production capacity is limited to 30,000 Prius C units a month.
The glut of pre-orders is likely to create yet another supply shortage situation for Toyota, whose production of the Prius and other models was hampered by the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan last March. This led, in part, to Toyota's U.S. Prius sales falling 3.2 percent last year, though last month's sales were up 8.7 percent from a year earlier.
The Prius C, whose fuel economy is estimated at about 50 miles per gallon, is scheduled to start sales in the U.S. in March and will be priced at just under $19,000. Toyota also started recently started selling the Prius V wagon – which is also incredibly popular so far – and will debut a plug-in hybrid version of the Prius this year.