Toyota Prius Sales Surpass Ford Explorer

Pressure on manufacturers to offer more fuel-efficient vehicles increased last month with a law requiring them to improve vehicles' average fuel efficiency by 40 per cent over the next 12 years.

Published: 11-Jan-2008

Americans bought more Toyota Prius hybrid petrol-electric hatchbacks last year than Ford Explorer sports utility vehicles, the top-selling SUV for more than a decade.

The change of fortune, buried in US vehicle sales data for 2007 and unthinkable a few years ago, will find an echo at this year's Detroit auto show, which starts on Sunday.

While Americans' love for powerful gas-guzzlers remains strong, the slowing economy and high fuel prices are forcing buyers to lower their sights. Pressure on manufacturers to offer more fuel-efficient vehicles increased last month with a law requiring them to improve vehicles' average fuel efficiency by 40 per cent over the next 12 years.

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