In an effort to save their brand respectability, today Toyota Of North America put out a release offering to buy back all Toyota Prius built between 1997 and 2017.
Citing problems with the kind of brand loyalty the Prius has been bringing Toyota, the company has come to the decision that the cost analysis of buying back every Prius currently on the road will pay off in the long run by no longer associating the sort of people that drive Prius in America with Toyota.
Chief Executive Officer Toyota Of America James E. Lentz spoke to a small gathering of of top shelf automotive press, including myself, with an unprecedented degree of honesty earlier today:
When asked to explain the problem with Toyota Prius customers he went on to tell us:
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg because soon Mr Lenz started really ranting:
Once he had calmed down, a still slightly wild eyed Lenz went on to explain that his design and marketing teams had come up with all sorts of ideas; but even the concept of not giving enough flat space on the rear of the cars to put stickers on had slowed down sales to people that think anyone else cares.
Despite Toyotas best efforts Prius drivers will still find a way to tell you who they voted for three election cycles ago.
Also on the table was an idea to remove cup holders, but research quickly showed most Prius drivers simply don’t use them and prefer to hold their Starbucks coffee and drive one handed anyway.
So Toyota of North America has taken the never before seen step of discontinuing sales of the Prius as of today and buy back all stock from dealerships and as many customers as they can.
He certainly has a point. The latest Toyota Camry is an excellently well rounded car for middle America, the Toyota Corolla is the perfect student econobox, the RAV4 is still the RAV4 and the 86 is the MX-5 for tall people that want a a roof as standard and occasionally have use for four seats.
The Toyota 86 – a car so badass you can put two wheels in the back and still drive it.
Before leaving the room abruptly, Lenz summed up the end of the Prius in North America:
There has been no comment from the Toyota head quarters in Japan as of yet.