|Team Effort -- The NorCal TDA and San Francisco Region teamed up to put on the area’s first Prius parade, attracting 332 owners and setting a world record.
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.
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.”
|Prius Pride -- The Alameda Air Field was an ideal location for a Prius parade.
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.