Popular Hybrid In Short Supply

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(Modesto, CA)
Thursday, August 11, 2005

Analysts say the 55-mile per gallon Toyota Prius is the best selling hybrid in California. But dealers say the combination of high gas prices along with the access of single-occupant hybrids to car pool lanes means it's difficult to find a new or used one on a lot.

Sargon David of Modesto Toyota says demand is far outstripping supply even though the manufacturer says it doubled production this year.

"These vehicles arrive on the lot now and they're snapped up. Even used Prisus', don't stay on the lot for more than one or two days."

David says customers can expect to pay sticker price for a new Prius, which start at 22-thousand dollars, and near-sticker for a late model used one. Special orders can take months.

A spokeswoman for Toyota says production figures for next year for the Prius aren't available.

The owner of the Honda dealership in Modesto says the two hybrid models he offers are more readily available, a few for immediate delivery.