The Eco Car War is heating up and Toyota is considering creating a Prius brand in an effort to open up a new front. This possible move would take advantage of the fact that, next to the word 'hybrid' itself, the Prius nameplate is most associated in this market with eco-friendly vehicles. Toyota already has the largest base of loyal customers, and a variety of Prius-branded vehicles would allow the company to grab buyers who might otherwise consider the 2011 Chevy Volt or 2009 Honda Insight. This isn't merely idle talk. Toyota successfully created the Scion brand as an alternative to its larger brand. Additionally, Toyota's North American Sales Chief Jim Lentz told Reuters that "there is a definite desire for us to [create a Prius brand]" and that new dealerships were being constructed with space for the eco-brand. This could mean smaller hybrids, sportier hybrids and possibly even small truck hybrids. This isn't the first time we've mentioned this possibility, and Toyota has denied it in the past, but this new statement seems to point towards a company at least floating test balloons relating to the idea. [Reuters via Automobile]


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