A Toyota press release bragging about the achievements of the Prius Plug-in Hybrid variant since it went arrived in U.S. showrooms at the end of February states that the EPA-rated 95 MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent) Japanese hatchback has delivered 6,061 units in its first six months (March through August) on sale.
However, that's not what caught our attention; this is what did and we quote Toyota's press statement:
"This sales figure represents sales momentum that has propelled the Prius Plug-in to a stronger first full six-months sales pace (6,061 units) than Chevrolet Volt Plug-in (2,745 units) and the all-electric Nissan Leaf (3,875 units)."
At a first glance, the problem is with Toyota's numbers and more specifically the Volt's sales as according to General Motors, the Chevrolet model has delivered 13,497 units from the beginning of the year including 2,831 in August alone.
Even if we remove the Volt's January (603 units) and February (1,023 units) sales, it still comes on top at 11,871 deliveries (March through August).
As for the Leaf, Nissan says it has sold 4,228 units from January through August in the States, which are reduced to 3,074 if we take out the months of January (676 units) and February (478 units).
So what’s going on here; did Toyota mess up on the numbers? The answer is no. You see (get ready for an "ah ha" moment), what Toyota is referring to is the initial 6-month deliveries of the Volt and the Leaf when they first entered the U.S. market, not this year's sales...
Not only this isn't very clear in the press statement, but Toyota is also comparing apples to oranges since the Prius Plug-in hybrid is just another addition to the very successful Prius series (164,408 total U.S sales from January through August), while both the Leaf and the Volt are two brand new models with far more sophisticated technology that can scare the masses away, especially when they first arrived in the market.