Northern California Dealers

Everybody Loves a (Prius) Parade
by Karen Nielsen
May/June 2016
Northern California Dealers
Prius Pride
The event drew 332 owners to the Alameda Air Field, which was an ideal location for a Prius parade.
Environmentally speaking, a Prius parade is about as quiet as they come. But that was not the case when 332 Prius owners gathered to drive a 2.1-mile parade and set a Guinness World Record on Earth Day weekend.
Northern California Toyota dealers and Prius owners flocked to the Alameda Air Field on April 23 to shatter the record for the longest hybrid parade lap. Up until then it was 208 vehicles set in 2011 by Smart Motors in Madison, Wis.
World Record
Northern California Toyota dealers wanted to pay homage to the Prius this Earth Day. So they went big and ended up setting a Guinness World Record for the most hybrid vehicles in a parade.

The NorCal Toyota Dealers Association and the San Francisco Region didn’t doubt for a second that it could be done. There’s a lot of Prius pride here. The Bay Area is known for its highly dense Prius population with more than 217,000 vehicles.
Drivers proudly displayed world record numbers on their cars, honked and whooped and celebrated.
“There was a huge community aspect to this event,” says Steve Waddell, San Francisco Region vehicle operations manager. “Many of the dealers were calling their customers and having pre-party events and caravanning together to the parade. It had a tailgating vibe to it.”
San Francisco Toyota invited hundreds of customers to the event, printed special T-shirts for them and even custom “wrapped” a Prius for the parade. It’s a top-selling vehicle for the top-selling Prius dealership in Northern California, accounting for 30-40 percent of monthly sales.

“I’ve always wanted to have a Prius driving event and it was great fun to get everybody together,” says Doug Donnellan, vice president and general manager, San Francisco Toyota.

As part of the pre-parade Earth Day festivities, owners could play games to win prizes, chow down at food trucks, talk to PriusChat bloggers, take a race course test drive with professional drivers in the 2016 Prius and get a sneak peek at the 2017 Prius Prime.

“It was amazing to see our loyal Prius owners having so much fun…whether on the hot laps course or driving the parade route. Everyone was excited and smiling,” Waddell says. 

All Wrapped Up
San Francisco Toyota wrapped a vehicle for the special Earth Day event.


Team Effort
The NorCal Toyota Dealers Association and Toyota’s San Francisco regional office teamed up to put on the area’s first Prius parade and set a world record.

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