In an effort to save their brand respectability, today Toyota Of North America put out a release offering to buy back all Toyota Prius built between 1997 and 2018.
Citing problems with the kind of brand loyalty the Prius has been bringing Toyota, the company has come to the decision that the cost analysis of buying back every Prius currently on the road will pay off in the long run by no longer associating the sort of people that drive a Prius in America with Toyota.
The Chief Executive Officer of Toyota America, Carter J. Spencer, spoke to a small gathering of top-shelf automotive press with an unprecedented degree of honesty earlier today:
"Frankly, we are incredibly proud of the car. It has hit every major milestone we could have wished for. Unfortunately, we seem to have made one huge error - the type of people that purchase a Toyota Prius."
When asked to explain the problem with Toyota Prius customers he went on to tell us:
"You know, we spent a huge amount of money and time designing the car, and if we had known people were just going to use them as a billboard for their political views we wouldn't have bothered. We could have just stuck the driveline in a Corolla in the first place."
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg because soon Mr. Spencer started really ranting:
"We have also gone to great lengths with things like an integrated back up camera and Toyota Safety Sense as standard but it seems we can't stop Prius drivers backing into other cars or randomly changing lanes without looking. I mean seriously - we put CAMERAS IN AS STANDARD SO PEOPLE DON'T EVEN HAVE TO TURN THEIR F***ING HEADS TO SEE IF THERE IS ANYTHING IN THE WAY!"
Once he had calmed down, a still slightly wild-eyed Spencer went on to explain that his design and marketing teams came up with all sorts of ideas; but even the concept of not giving enough flat space on the rear of the cars to put stickers on has slowed down sales to people that don’t understand the concept of other road users.
Despite Toyotas best efforts Prius drivers will still find a way to tell you who they voted for three election cycles ago.
Also on the table was an idea to remove cup holders, but research quickly showed most Prius drivers simply don’t use them and prefer to hold their Starbucks coffee and drive one-handed anyway. Another proposal was to have potential purchasers take a second driving test they had to pass before they could sign any paperwork. However, the idea was discarded as the used car market couldn’t be controlled.
So Toyota of North America has taken the never before seen step of is discontinuing sales of the Prius as of today and buy back all stock from dealerships and as many customers as they can:
"Fact is, we now have what we consider the best hybrid systems in the world and we can put it into cars that don't attract complete douchebags and people that think they are buying the four-wheeled equivalent of a fridge. At this point, the public perception of the Prius is hurting sales of other cars we sell that are very good indeed. We will take an enormous financial hit but it should pay off in the long run."
He certainly has a point. The latest Toyota Camry is an excellently well-rounded car for middle America, the Toyota Corolla is the perfect student econobox, the RAV4 is still the RAV4, and the GT86 is the MX-5 for tall people that want a a roof as standard and don't pretend they never have a use for four seats."
Before leaving the room abruptly, Spencer summed up the end of the Prius in North America:
"We don't need to sell a car that has become an avatar for everything wrong with drivers in America today. We don't need that kind of customer, and as of today we distance ourselves from slow driving, constant braking, left lane hogging, and saving the world one-mile-at-a-time attitude taking douchebags. We may not be able to do anything about terrorists using our trucks in the middle east, but we can damn well do something about the smugtards doing our brand damage over here. Don't even get me started about Uber."
There has been no comment from Toyota's headquarters in Japan as of yet.