Sales of the Chevy Volt remain so weak that even with higher gas prices, GM had to shut production down for five weeks. Compare that to the brand new compact Toyota Prius C, which outsold a month's worth of Volts and Nissan Leafs in just three days. Beware the Ides of March.
With gas prices soaring it seems like a good time to launch a green car, and the new small Prius five-door hatchback hit the market on March 12th. In the last three days the tiniest member of the Prius family, which gets 53 MPG in the cIty, put down an impressive 1,201 units sold.
GM only sold 1,023 Volts last month, which was a doubling of January (when they sold just 603). Nissan only sold 478 Leafs during the same month.
It may be that people still are wary of buying an expensive new technology from a company that was bankrupt less than two years ago. Maybe even because it could be because folks don't want to buy a car still seen by many as a product of the bailout.
But what's more likely the case is that the excitement over such a new product clearly is swaying these numbers in Toyota's favor, as well as the relatively paltry starting price — under $20K.
But it still serves as a reminder that the Japanese automaker gets this green car game in a way GM doesn't — because they were there, and stayed there, first.