Skip to main content

Coronavirus Could Push Toyota To Sell Prius The Way It Was Intended

Toyota had a way to sell Prius back before online meetings were cool. Here is what I think Toyota could do and how it could be the future of car buying.

Every so often, I like to place a good bet. If I were to place a bet on something today, I would wager that almost less than 1% of Prius drivers know how the little car was sold originally. Not that it matters but, maybe Toyota was on to something when Prius was first sold, and I think that it applies to us more now than it ever has before.

I want to go over how Prius was meant to be sold and why it is pertinent to how we could be buying cars in the future.

How The Toyota Prius Was Initially Sold
The year was 1997, and over in Japan, a strange little four-seater car called Prius went on sale. It was a hybrid car using both gasoline and battery electric power. It was futuristic for sure, and it caught the attention of many.

2000 Toyota Prius Green

Toyota Motor Corp had meant for Prius to catch the attention of people and get them to want it. Toyota was and is still very good at marketing.

What was even more impressive was the way Prius was getting sold. Online. The internet was still very new, and to sell a new vehicle, with a new approach, was very revolutionary. So was Toyota on to something here? Why did Prius sales eventually go to dealerships and not stay online? More answers to your questions next.

How Coronavirus Could Take More New Car Sales To Online
Online car shopping has grown significantly since Prius came out in 1997. Websites like Carvana have hit a niche where customers love the feeling of having their car delivered right to their door.

Customers can search online, choose the car they want, pay for it, and then it just shows up. That is pretty cool, and Carvana was cool before COVID was ever here.

2007 Toyota Prius Red

With how this virus has changed us, will we see more online purchasing? I think that we could because not everyone feels safe to go back out into the world again, but they still want a car. Dealers exist also to service the vehicles they sell. People are creatures of habit and we love to touch what we want.


I think that the virus has shifted the way we are doing business everywhere. Will we see cars like Prius pushed to buying the car then driving it? I doubt it, but you never know.

I think people enjoy going in and test driving before they purchase, but then again, how does Carvana do so well? Whatever the case may be, I believe we will see a rapid change in the way cars are bought and sold.

Thank you for reading. I sure hope you are healthy and safe. I look forward to seeing you in the next story. As Catalytic Converter Theft Continues To Climb, Dealers Run Low On Replacements

Watch this Toyota Prius truck with a nice little bed and click to subscribe to Torque News Youtube for daily automotive news analysis.

Peter Neilson is an automotive consultant specializing in electric cars and hybrid battery technologies. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Automotive Service Technology from Weber State University. Peter is also an Instructor of Automotive Technology at Columbia Basin College. Peter can be reached on Linkedin and you can tweet him at The_hybrid_guy on Twitter. Find his page on Facebook at Certified Auto Consulting. Read more of Peter's stories at Toyota news coverage on Torque News. Search Toyota Prius Torque News for more in depth Prius coverage from our reporters.