Apparently, the Prius is becoming a social media pariah. Why? Don’t blame gas prices. TeslaMondo guesses it’s because for millennials, the Prius smells like their parents, maybe even literally. We all know the shelf life of anything remotely parental, wise or not. Cool things from childhood quickly become uncool when you come of age. Even the word “uncool” may be uncool, since it smacks of Fonzie. Who? Never mind.
With the Prius celebrating its Sweet 16 in the USA, it’s becoming conspicuously parental. Surely at this point, parents are trying to hand down the Prii to the kids, but kids apparently don’t want them. Compounding matters, a new kid has knocked the Prius off the sci-fi pedestal. And it’s not the Mirai.
If the Prius fails to win over the upcoming generation, how will this impact Toyota overall? Will Scion save the day? If not, then Toyota is slipping into Oldsmobile syndrome, growing old along with the customers. “This is not your father’s Oldsmobile.” Remember that ad campaign? Didn’t work. In 1985, America bought over 300k Oldsmobile Cieras. Less than two decades later, despite the ad campaign, Oldsmobile disappeared — precisely because it was indeed your father’s Oldsmobile.
UPDATE: Plug-in Prius discontinued, says this source. If true, Toyota is officially divorced from EVs and, against a gee-whiz backdrop dominated by Tesla, may start looking like a tech laggard. That Mirai had better catch on soon. Will the “Powered by Bullshit” campaign work?