Prius Continues To Be Top-Selling Car In Japan

Toyota's popular hybrid was the top-selling car in Japan in October for sixth straight month, while its direct competitor, the Honda Insight, was ninth.

TOKYO (AP) -- Toyota's popular Prius hybrid was the top-selling car in Japan in October for the sixth straight month, helped by tax breaks and government subsidies for environmentally friendly vehicles, an industry group said Friday.

Toyota Motor Corp., the world's biggest automaker, sold 26,918 Prius cars last month, according to the Japan Automobile Dealers Association. That was a big jump from 6,341 Prius cars sold in October last year.

Surging demand for the Prius helped Toyota post a surprise profit Thursday.

The Japanese auto giant posted better-than-expected net income of 21.8 billion yen ($242 million) for the July-September period after three straight losing quarters. The company also halved its expected loss for the fiscal year.

Honda Motor Co.'s Fit compact was No. 2 in October with 15,444 units sold, the association said. Although the Fit isn't a hybrid, it still qualifies for tax breaks because it's fuel-efficient.

Toyota's Vitz subcompact, marketed overseas as the Yaris, came in third last month. Honda's Insight hybrid -- a direct competitor with Toyota's Prius -- was ninth.

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