Hybrid Price War Starting? Maybe.

Posted: March 19, 2009

Bloomberg reports, "Toyota Motor Corp. will cut the price in Japan of the current version of the Prius gasoline- electric hybrid car to match that of Honda Motor Co.'s Insight, Nikkei English News said, without citing anyone."

The company hasn't cut the price of the upcoming 2010 Prius, a complete redesign of the iconic hybrid car that achieves an EPA certified 50 mpg. Instead, the cut applies to the 2009 model. Toyota, in Japan, may intend to continue selling that version alongside the next Prius.

Autoblog Green says the same strategy could be brought here. "We knew that Toyota was planning to keep the current Prius around for a little while longer to properly do battle with the new Honda Insight, which costs a few thousand dollars (or a few million yen) less," AG writes. "We assumed that Toyota would at least match the Insight's asking price with its new-old Prius, and now it's official...We've also heard that a new lower-cost hybrid model from Toyota is currently being developed that would be based on Prius underpinnings but sold at a up to a 30-percent discount."

There is no official word from Toyota that the company will offer the old Prius alongside the new version here. With hybrid sales plummeting in recent months, the automaker may well decide not to offer two Prii at the same time.

Research the best cars and car deals with U.S. News' Rankings and Reviews.