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The Toyota Prius has broken into the third spot behind the Toyota Corolla and Ford Focus in worldwide car sales figures for the first quarter of 2012.

According to Bloomberg, 247,230 Prius models have been sold, behind 277,000 Focuses and 300,800 Corollas.

While still positive news for the Japanese manufacturer, which has had to deal with a slow uptake of hybrid technology, production difficulties following natural disasters, and tarnished brand equity due to recalls, the figures cover the entire Prius range, not just the original model. This means the figures also include sales of the Toyota Prius C city car, the recently launched Prius V and the Prius plug-in, which is not currently sold in Australia.

With US sales up 42 per cent over the first three months of this year, Automotive News reports that demand for the Prius could reach 250,000 units this year in that market alone, creating a potential issue as Toyota has only allocated 220,000 for the American market. The ‘problem’ of excess demand for its cars is surely one Toyota is happy to have.

Toyota Australia sold 292 conventional Prius models over the first four months of this year, up 30 per cent over the previous year. The introduction of the Prius C to local showrooms in April saw 405 of the light-sized hybrid hatches registered across the country.




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