No, it's not an SUV. In fact, it still sits in Toyota's "sedan" category. But the car company has elongated the Prius' original design -- 300mm in length and 20mm at wheel base -- and added another row of seats, which allows it to ascribe the auspicious monicker "mini people mover."
No, that is not a reference to the stature of those who can ride in it. And since this slightly bigger and heavier version will inherit the current Prius hybrid engine, the end result may very well be a reduction in fuel economy and efficiency.
With Toyota's (NYSE:TM) legal battles due to civil lawsuits regarding safety glitches still at the forefront, the embattled car company has an almost insurmountable marketing campaign ahead of it.
Recently, a U.S. federal judge gave Toyota an ultimatum of 30 days to turn in requested documents for a now-consolidated collection of plaintiff claims--something the Toyota was trying to avoid at all costs.
Add to this the latest information on Toyota's Tesla stock purchase, and it's difficult not to translate every move by the once-dominating auto company as an act of desperation. Especially when the estimated liability is in the US$10 billion dollar range.
Image courtesy of Motor Trend
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