by Irv Miller
Although we hope some day to sell plug-in hybrids to retail customers, the only thing we have announced is that we will place several hundred plug-in Prius vehicles in commercial fleets by the end of next year.
As much as we want to speed the latest hybrid technology to the public, we have vowed as a company to not release new systems until they are reliable and ready for everyday use. One of the best ways to help ensure that is through rigorous testing in fleets that do a tremendous amount of driving in all types of weather and road conditions.
Magnussen’s Toyota in Palo Alto, California was doing what we’ve always encouraged our dealers to do...to listen carefully to their customers and try to meet their needs. Being so close to Silicon Valley, the dealership was getting lots of requests from customers who wanted to buy a plug-in Prius. And since the dealership had confidence Toyota would eventually deliver a great vehicle, they thought it would be a good idea to take deposits and make customers happy.
So, while we applaud Magnuessen’s excitement about our future Prius plug-in, we want to be clear that we have not announced a timetable for retail sales.
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