Since the first Prius was sold in Japan in 1997, Toyota has been on the forefront of development and sales in the hybrid market. To date, nearly 3 million have been sold worldwide. So far there have been 3 generations of the hybrid, and now there are rumors of a 4th. Recent information released by Toyota suggests a drastic change could be coming. R&D is considering a “universal” platform of chassis, battery and drive train package that would be adaptable to numerous body applications. One thing that has always been different about the Prius from the beginning is looks. Toyota was smart and figured out in the beginning that people who buy a hybrid wanted a vehicle that looks different. You could almost say that the Prius’ appearance makes the statement; “I’m different; earth friendly, green, and economical”. Honda and other manufactures never seemed to grasp this concept, which is a big reason for Toyota success in sales.