Toyota Prius continues to be Japan's top selling car in June

Toyota's gas-electric hybrid, Prius has continued to hold the top slot for the second straight month as Japan's highest-selling car with June sales more than doubling, indicating the increasing demand for green cars, mainly due to government incentives given for the auto industry.

Toyota Motor sold 22,292 units of the Prius cars in June, far more than the 10,915 it sold in May and recording a jump of 258 per cent from 6,231 units sold a year before, the Japan Automobile Dealers Association said Monday

Toyota's Prius overtook its rival, Honda's Insight, in May to make it to the top position as the No1 selling vehicle, in a category that excludes popular mini-vehicles with engines of up to 660 cc like Suzuki Motor Corp's WagonR. (See: Toyota Prius's first month bookings at record 180,000 vehicles). 

Suzuki Motor Corp's WagonR remained No.1 among all segments since January 2008, but, Toyota's Prius June sales broke the record of all segments including mini-vehicles to hold the overall No.1 position.

Honda's Fit took the second place with sales of 13,016 vehicles, down 11.5 per cent from the year before.

Hybrid vehicles have been taking the top spot in auto sales as they are powered both by petrol and electricity resulting in savings on petrol especially with oil prices remaining high and global warming concerns as a result of car emissions.

Toyota's Prius launched in mid-May is more fuel efficient than its previous two versions and is cheap compared to its rival Honda's Insight. Both vehicles are doing well compared to the gas gazing cars.

The government approved a cash-back rebate for trading in cars above 13 years for greener cars and making hybrids cars tax-free, gives consumers a discount of about 150,000 yen($1,500) and an incentive to buy green cars.