Prius ranks as nation’s top car for 14th month

The Associated Press

The Prius ranked as the nation’s top-selling car in June, clinching the No. 1 spot for the 14th straight month on the back of brisk demand for green vehicles.

Toyota Motor Corp. sold 31,876 of the gas-electric hybrids last month, far outnumbering Honda’s fuel-efficient Fit, which came in second with 15,955 sales, the Japan Automobile Dealers Association said Tuesday.

“Demand for the Prius remains very strong as consumers continue to opt for hybrid vehicles,” said association spokesman Yukio Kogoshi.

Tax breaks and government subsidies for environmentally friendly cars also helped boost Prius sales.

The Prius, now in its third generation since its 1997 introduction, is the best-selling hybrid in the world, with a total of 1.79 million sold, according to Toyota.

Demand for the vehicle is so high there is a three-month waiting list.

India plant halted

NAGOYA (Kyodo) Toyota Motor Corp. suspended operations Monday at its Indian subsidiary, Toyota Kirloskar Motor Pvt. Ltd., amid a one-day general strike in the country, Toyota officials said.

Toyota instructed employees at the subsidiary, based in the suburbs of Bangalore, to stay home to ensure their safety after it obtained information beforehand that the strike would be organized nationwide, the officials said, adding the subsidiary restarted operations Tuesday morning.