A Toyota New Zealand spokesperson has confirmed that the Prius hybrid has been culled from the Japanese marque’s local line-up.
The model was quietly axed in May, leaving the Prius Prime plug-in hybrid as the lone Prius offered in Kiwi showrooms for the moment. “The Prius hybrid was discontinued from our line from May production this year,” said the spokesperson.
The update follows the departure of the Prius C hatchback. A new updated Prius C variant was recently unveiled in Japan. “At this stage no we have no plans to introduce it to our line-up,” the spokesperson added of the new C.
The Prius inherited a tech and visual update in 2019, which included a cleaner front end, a new voice-activated mobile assistant, and more.
Although older grey imports were here first, the Prius was first offered here officially by Toyota in 2003. In 2019 Toyota’s local arm reported that more than 5500 Prius-badged models had been sold locally over its lifespan.
The nameplate has somewhat been a victim of its own success; the hybrid tech that it helped pioneer is now appearing in almost every other passenger vehicle Toyota offers locally. While the RAV4 hybrid and Corolla hybrid are two of the country’s best-selling electrified vehicles, the Prius is among the slowest selling.
According to figures from the Motor Industry Association, 13 new Prius’ were registered between the start of the year and the end of July. This is dwarfed by the 2180 RAV4 hybrids, 1072 Corolla hybrids, and 672 C-HR hybrids registered in the same period.
For those curious, a total of 38 Prius Prime PHEVs were registered in the same period. July, the first month where the New Zealand Government’s Clean Car Discount came into effect, represented the model’s equal-best month for sales, with nine recorded.