Toyota has done it again: Earlier in the year, it totally misjudged the demand for the Prius Alpha hybrid minivan, leading to shortages and some customers being told that they may not even get their cars until 2012.
Fast forward a few months, and Toyota has once again totally misjudged the level of demand for another car – this time the new Camry hybrid. With over five thousand orders placed during the first month it has been on sale in Japan, demand has exceeded Toyota’s monthly sales target by ten times.
Not 10%. Ten times.
Unlike the situation earlier in the year with the Prius Alpha, Toyota has not given any indication as to whether this might result in delays, but it does raise some interesting questions: Is Toyota’s market research really missing the mark so much? Or is Toyota deliberately setting their sales targets so low (500 per month) to generate these kinds of headlines later?
Of course, another possibility is that Toyota has underestimated the sheer scale of demand for hybrid cars that it has largely been responsible for: The Prius has been the number one best seller for a couple of years now in Japan, and Toyota has been pushing the hybrid solution for over a decade now. These Camry sales figures once again show that the hybrid model is not just a fringe option for eco-nuts, but is increasinlgy the power train of choice for the masses.
Toyota, you’ve done it. You have pushed the hybrid passed tipping point.
Now, please start taking this into account in your sales and production projections!
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